The public have been reminded about water safety rules during the 35th America’s Cup and beyond as well as the policing plans in place around the event.

The Bermuda Police Service’s commander of both Roads Policing and Marine Policing Units, Inspector Robert Cardwell, speaking at a press conference earlier today, said: “The Bermuda Police Service has put in place significant policing plans not only for the America’s Cup but also island-wide to ensure peace is maintained and ensuring public safety is foremost.

“In order to be successful we need the full co-operation of the entire Bermuda community.

“I am extremely pleased to report that the Bermuda Police Service has received the full co-operation of the general public policing the America’s Cup event. Our service partners in HM Customs Bermuda and the Royal Bermuda Regiment, Wedco and our friends acting as America’s Cup volunteers are reporting the same.

“I am the commander of both Roads Policing and Marine Policing Units. Roads and Marine Policing plans have been executed and everything is going to plan. We expected marine traffic on Bermuda’s inshore waterways and on the roads particularly in the west end to increase significantly and that has come into play.”

Inspector Cardwell outlined a number of traffic notices for the motoring public:

• This includes a traffic notice restricting access to Dockyard for private cars. Between 10:30am and 3pm only persons in possession of accreditation issued by either ACBDA or Wedco are able to pass a Bermuda Regiment sentry who is stationed at the junction of Malabar Road and Heydon Road. Any member of the public wishing to attend any business, store or restaurant within Dockyard will be vetted for access. Once parking within Dockyard is full there will be no further access permitted.

• A second traffic notice is in place to convert Heydon Road from a two way road into a one way road. This is to allow drivers who are not permitted entry into Dockyard by the Bermuda Regiment sentry a place to turn around via the one-way system.

• A third traffic notice is in place to reduce speed from 35kph to 25kph on all the roads immediately preceding the entrance to Dockyard. This includes Malabar Road, Cockburn Road and Cochrane Road. This speed limit reduction has also been applied to the entire length of Pender Road to the gates giving entry to Dockyard. Signs have been clearly erected informing road users of this speed reduction. The motoring public travelling on any of these roads need to have a heightened awareness of the expected pedestrian foot traffic and we have seen this being exercised.

Inspector Cardwell added: “The public attending the America’s Cup village on Cross Island are encouraged to make use of the increased ferry lift to the village and to Dockyard. The motoring public is advised that designated parking has been provided at Boaz Island Sports Field, Sandys Secondary Field, West End Primary Field, Warren Simmons Field and Somerset Primary Field.

“Tickets to park at any of these designated parking areas can be purchased for $25 online or for $30 at the any of the fields. The parking ticket purchased also includes the mini bus ride from any of the fields to the America’s Cup village and a return to the field on departure.

“All normal parking restrictions in all other areas within Boaz Island will be strictly enforced. Vehicles left in a dangerous manner will be towed and impounded.

“Likewise, to assist in the safety and management of the increased marine traffic and to facilitate the America’s Cup races several Notices to Mariners have been issued.

“Notices to mariners are in effect temporary legislation and it is an offence to disobey a Notice to Mariners.”

Inspector Cardwell also issued notices to mariners:

• No person shall approach within 60 metres of any AC35 race yacht at any time while they are moored in the Dockyard South Basin.

• The established racecourse which will be marked by buoys is closed to all marine traffic between 10:30am and 5pm on each day of races. America’s Cup racecourse volunteer marshals who are clearly identifiable will be on-hand to ensure the racecourse remains sterile and to assist and direct mariners to their designated viewing area.

• All mariners, pilots and boatmen within any of the permitted viewing areas during the race must prominently display an America’s Cup flag, and must remain within the authorised designated viewing area that corresponds with the ACEA flag issued.

• The designated viewing areas within the Great Sound are five knot and no wake areas. When moving around in these areas extreme caution is to be exercised.

• The Dockyard South Basin is a restricted area — the boating public is not permitted access into the South Basin until after June 30.

• Vessels intending on entering the Dockyard camber must make contact with the Camber manager on VHF channel 77 — call sign “Dockyard Traffic” to obtain the necessary permission and to receive instructions. A separation scheme has been put in place for vessels intending to enter or exit the Dockyard North Basin. This separation scheme has been marked by buoys within the entrance. Vessels are required to keep to the right of the separation scheme buoys.

• The speed limit within Hamilton Harbour has been reduced to 10 knots from a line extending south from Saltus Island to Spectacle Island and from there south-east to Musson Point. This notice has caught many vessel operators off guard. In layman’s terms if you are in Hamilton Harbour your speed should not exceed 10 knots and should be under five knots with no wake as per normal if passing any vessel that is docked.

Bermuda Water Safety Council chairman Ralph Richardson issued a reminder to the public about general safety on the water during the same press conference.

They are as follows:

Please be careful to follow safety rules whenever on or near the water:

— Remember to watch little children when near the water either at the seaside on at the pool

— Always ensure that you have the proper safety gear aboard your boat

— Avoid driving with little children on the bow of the boat

— When operating a small boat at speed, always use a kill switch to shut the engine off if you fall overboard

— Do not dive in shallow water

This year Bermuda has the great privilege of hosting the world’s premier sailing event, the America’s Cup. It is expected that over 300 visiting yachts and superyachts with grace our shores, many for the first time. We are also aware that hundreds of local boaters will be operating vessels for the first time this summer.

We would like offer a few safety suggestions as they relate to the America’s Cup event:

— The AC vessels will be practicing in the Great Sound — please use caution and stay well clear of these very fast vessels during practice period

— If you are a new boater, please learn the rules to avoid collisions (termed Rules of the Road)

— AC marshals will control the perimeters of the AC racecourse. They will give directions to all vessels — please follow their directions

— The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup teams will be practicing in the Little Sound, just to the south of Morgan’s Point and the Caroline Bay Marina — Please ensure that you are well clear of the Red Bull vessels whilst they are practicing in the area

— With hundreds of vessels expected to be in the spectator area during the races, please remember to observe the 5 knot / no wake zone when in that area

— Remember that, due to the high number of boats in the spectator areas, we suggested swimming should be avoided there.

Read the article on Royal Gazette here: