Safety at Sea

by JT Directory 30th May 2019

Jersey Water Saftey


As islanders, being on, around or in the water is part of our way of life. It can be easy to forget that as well as being great fun, swimming, diving, boating and other recreational water sports present various dangers. Our Water Safety Guide will help you minimize the risks involved so that you can continue enjoy Jersey's beautiful waters.



Beach Safety



  • Only swim when there is a lifeguard present
  • On a lifeguarded beach, only swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Do not swim if there are only red flags
  • Read and obey the safety signs located at the beach entrance
  • Do not swim alone
  • Wave your hand in the air and yell if you are in trouble
  • Do not attempt to rescue someone who is struggling - if there is no lifeguard, call the Coastguard at 999 or 112


Flags and Signs


Signs and flags are important safety notices which give info on the hazards specific to the beach. The signs generally use two different types of warning symbols. If the beach you’re at is not lifeguarded, please take extra care if you are going into the water. If lifeguards are on patrol, then you’ll need to know your flags.



Sign/Flag Meaning
Jersey Beach Prohibited Beach Sign Do not enter the water at any time. Swimming and other water-related activities are not permitted.
Jersey Beach Safe to Swim Beach Flag

Red and yellow beach flag

Lifeguarded area. Safest area to swim, bodyboard and use inflatables.

Jersey Surfboad Area Beach Flag

Black and white chequered beach flag

For surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. Launch and recovery area for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Never swim or bodyboard here.

Jersey Danger Beach Flag

Red beach flag

Danger! Never go in the water under any circumstances when the red flag is flying.

Jersey Wind warning Beach Flag

Orange windsock

Indicates offshore or strong wind conditions. Never use inflatables when the windsock is flying.



Tides and Weather


  • Heading out on the water? Always check the tide and weather forecast beforehand!
  • Consider the speed and direction of the wind as well as the temperature
  • Always inform someone on land of your plans, where you are going and when you will return



Rip Tides


  • Strong currents, rip tides often take swimmers far out into the sea
  • Signs of a rip current include foam on the surface of the water, debris floating outwards, rippled water and discoloured water
  • To get out of a rip current, remember the following:
    • Relax and float. Do not swim against the current.
    • Raise an arm and call for help.
    • Wait for rescue calmly. Do not panic or struggle.  
  • If possible, swim parallel to the beach to get out of the rip tide



Jersey Water Safety Flags
Beach Flags at Le Braye Beach, St. Ouen's Bay
Tombstoning/Jumping From Height Into Water


  • High risk, tombstoning is illegal in Jersey harbours
  • It is very dangerous due to altered water depth, shallow waters, submerged objects, cold water shock, strong currents and more




  • Only bodyboard on lifeguarded beaches
  • Utilize a leash and flippers at all times
  • If you are in distress, stay with your board, raise your arm and yell for assistance





  • Only surf on lifeguarded beaches
  • Utilize a leash at all times
  • If you are in distress, stay with your board, raise your arm and yell for assistance
  • Do not surf alone
  • Do not surf between the red and yellow flags





  • Do not use inflatables in the sea
  • If you do use them in the sea, ensure that it is on a lifeguarded beach
  • Do not use inflatables in choppy or windy conditions
  • Secure children’s inflatables to a line held by an adult



Jersey Boat Safety


Boat Safety





  • According to the SOLAS V convention, Jersey boat owners must passage plan, record navigational activities and carry communication equipment





  • Always wear a lifejacket!
  • Even if you are a strong swimmer, Jersey’s cold waters often cause ‘cold water shock’
  • Test the automatic inflation mechanisms of your lifejackets



Marine Flares


  • Marine flares are used to attract attention and communicate vessel location
  • Marine flares are only used when there is grave and imminent danger to a person or vessel
  • Hand held red flares are visible up to approximately 3 miles and should only be used when in sight of a boat, aeroplane or land
  • Orange smoke flares have a range of approximately 1 to 3 miles and should only be used in daylight when in sight of a potential rescuer
  • Red parachute flares are rockets that rise to approximately 300 meters then drift down with a red light on a parachute. If there is clear weather, these flares can be seen up to 25 miles away
  • Always read the manufacturer instructions and ensure that each flare is in date


Recommended Number of Flares


    • Inshore (5 miles from land): 2 hand held red flares and 2 orange smoke flares
    • Coastal (7 miles from land): 2 hand held red flares, 2 orange smoke flares, 2 red parachute flares
    • Offshore (over 7 miles from land): 6 hand held red flares, 2 buoyant orange smoke flares, 4 red parachute flares



VHF Radio


  • Carry a VHF radio, which does not require mobile signal to function and transmits a signal that allows location to be tracked



Engine and Fuel


  • Ensure that your engine is regularly serviced by a qualified marine engineer
  • Always check your fuel
  • Carry an alternate method of propulsion whenever possible
Posted by boss
Thursday, 30th May 2019, 20:33.
Comments (0)
Popular Articles

Best Beaches in Jersey

If you enjoy swimming or just simply relaxing at the beach, you should definitely check out these Jersey favorites!

Adventures in Jersey

Whether you’re visiting or live in Jersey, there are many exciting things to do all year round. So if you’re the adventurous type, these activities are sure to interest you.

View More

Upcoming Events

View More

You also might be interested in

An overview of education in Jersey.


All the info you need on Jersey's Climate.


Information to help improve the quality of life for our islands older adults.


As a visitor or a local, follow our tips to stay safe!


The Jersey government provides a broad range of community services to residents, from financial and health support, to community centre and libraries.


All the info you need in case of Emergency situations in Jersey.