Guernsey Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are both urging Bailiwick pleasure boat users to think very carefully before heading out to sea during the lockdown period in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
People in the Bailiwick can use a pleasure boat, a canoe or kayak as part of their permitted two-hour recreation time under lockdown rules which came into force on 23 January 2021.
The Head of Guernsey Coastguard Captain David Barker said:
"Our main message is: Just because you can, does not mean you should. We understand why islanders may want to spend their outdoor activity time on the sea, but please remember that if a volunteer lifeboat crew member becomes infected on a rescue, either from a casualty or another crew member, it can mean that the whole crew must isolate. This will not only put the crew and their family at risk but jeopardise our ability to crew the lifeboat for future rescues. This must be avoided at all costs and we ask that islanders think very carefully before putting to sea."
Lifeboat Operations Manager for the St Peter Port RNLI, Chris Harvey said:
"We fully endorse Guernsey Coastguard's message of whether pleasure boaters' canoeists or kayakers really need to venture out in local waters or around Bailiwick coastlines currently. If one whole crew has to self-isolate as a result of a rescue, which could have been prevented, this could compromise our ability to attend subsequent incidents and put lives at risk."