Safety at Sea
This section is only designed to give a brief overview of local sea safety and Search and Rescue (SAR) arrangements.
For more information call the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) freephone 0800 328 0600 or visit the RNLI website.
Search and rescue arrangement
Guernsey Harbours acts as the Coastguard for Bailiwick of Guernsey waters providing search and rescue co-ordination and maritime information through St Peter Port Radio on VHF Channels 16, 20 and 62. A continuous watch is kept on these Channels.
Guernsey Coastguard is also equipped to receive VHF DSC distress alerts and the Search and Rescue Co-ordinators are trained by the UK Coastguard using the SARIS search and rescue IT system.
Search and rescue assets
The RNLI operates an all-weather Severn Class lifeboat from St Peter Port, Guernsey; an all-weather Tyne Class lifeboat; and an Inshore lifeboat from Braye Harbour, Alderney. St John's Ambulance and Rescue Service operates a marine ambulance from St Peter Port, Guernsey; and an Inshore lifeboat and cliff rescue service. Channel Islands Air Search operates an Islander aircraft, call sign Air Search 1, which is continuously available for maritime search and is equipped with radar, visual search and FLIR.
The French and UK Coastguard services also make their assets available for use in the Channel Islands area if requested.
Keep your boat registration details up to date (CG66 for UK vessels). This information can be invaluable during search and rescue operations.
- Keep the Coastguard and your family informed of your boating plans and any changes to those plans.
- Check your engine transmission, fuel and filters regularly.
- Register your EPIRBs and keep them secure.
- Keep flares secure and dispose of out-of-date flares with the Police.
- Mobile telephones are no substitute for VHF, but please use them if the need arises and always call early.
- Passage reports and radio checks to Guernsey Coastguard on Channel 20, not 16 or 12.
- Do not go out in fog unless you are equipped with radar and know how to use it.
- Always wear a lifejacket.
- Always get an up-to-date weather forecast and plan your voyage carefully taking into account the tidal predictions, limitations of your vessel and your crew.
- You should also check for navigation dangers on an up-to-date chart and refer to a current Pilot and Almanac.
- Have a contingency plan available should things go wrong and know who to call when you need assistance.
Harbour Reception/EnquiriesHarbour Master's Office, St Julians Emplacement, St Peter Port, GY1 2LW, Guernsey
Tel: +44 1481 720229 Fax: +44 1481 714177