Safety plea for Broads users ahead of busy bank holiday
- Credit: Julian Claxton/Broads Authority
Increased patrols and 'how to' videos are part of plans to keep people safe on the Norfolk Broads this year.
Ahead of an expected busy bank holiday weekend, the Broads Authority have urged visitors to stay safe and continue the "low level" of incidents reported recently.
It comes as the authority announced three more boaters were prosecuted for putting Broads users at risk by speeding and failing to navigate with care and caution.
Head of ranger services Lucy Burchnall said: "We've seen some cases of speeding and of inattentive boating recently, but a low level of incidents so far.
"We expect the Broads to be busier over the weekend but that's not unusual for a Bank Holiday.
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"What's really positive is that rangers report seeing more people wearing lifejackets, and we hope it stays that way over the weekend.
"We are anticipating another exceptionally busy season.
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"Working with our partners, we're focusing all efforts towards keeping visitors safe and have produced 'how to' boating videos for new hirers and new private boat owners to watch before their visit.
"Alongside this, we have four new assistant seasonal rangers out patrolling the Broads, doing speed checks and giving safety advice.
"This increase in ranger presence will help us reach more new visitors."
Last month, the authority released a series of boating videos as part of a safety campaign, launched ahead of an expected domestic tourism boom as government lockdown restrictions eased and temperatures rose.
The videos, which can be found on YouTube, cover a number of topics such as preparing for your holiday before you leave, how to stay safe and what to do if someone falls overboard.
The authority announced three boaters had been fined following incidents last year on the River Yare at Reedham and Norwich in May and July, as well as at Irstead and Ludham on the River Ant in September.
Senior ranger for compliance and safety Jon Hopes said: "We will continue to raise awareness of the importance of keeping to speed limits and navigating with care and attention.
"We hope that these cases act as a deterrent to others and we encourage all river users to help keep the National Park a safe and special place for everyone to enjoy."