All aboard for Oxfordshire’s boat safety day

A boat safety day, highlighting a range of hazards, will be launched from Osney Lock and visit boaters along the Thames on Tuesday, 21 August.

Oxford Water Safety Group – bringing together representatives from Oxfordshire County Council and City Council, fire and rescue, the Environment Agency, Thames Valley Police, and ambulance service – will be distributing an advice leaflet and safety items throughout the day.

Rotten gang planks, damaged ropes and complacency about fire risks aboard vessels are among the many dangers that boaters expose themselves to every year.

Fires on boats can spread quickly and be harder to reach than buildings on land. There is often only one compartment and the flames and fumes can spread rapidly.

The county council is committed to helping people live safe, healthy lives and to play an active part in their community.

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, the county council’s cabinet member for safety, explains:

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“Smoke alarms are inexpensive and will give everyone valuable time to escape safely.

“Maintaining vessels is so important. Rotten gang planks can collapse, resulting in anyone standing on them tumbling into the water.

“Boats might drift out of control if mooring ropes snap, striking and damaging other boats and structures before sinking. And boating under the influence of alcohol is another accident risk.”

Russell Robson, from the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this event. We want all boaters to be aware of the dangers and to take sensible precautions to avoid unnecessary accidents.”