FBSA Safety Recommendations
- The safety of swimmers, pilots and anyone involved in the crossing is imperative. Pilots must follow weather forecasts to ensure safe crossing conditions.
- Pilots must be licensed by SAMSA and authorised by the FBSA to be allowed to take swimmers across. Boats must be equipped with all required emergency and safety apparatus.
- It is the pilot and observer’s responsibility to have a valid safety plan in case a swimmer requires an evacuation and medical care.
- It is highly recommended to have two boats per swimmer / relay team during a crossing. One boat to accompany/guide the swimmer closely and the other boat acts as a roving boat. It is also a safety measure as this is not a frequently visited route and is open to the Indian Ocean. A second boat will also provide backup in case of a boat related emergency.
- Sharks and specifically Great White Sharks, habitat the bay. Their mating season is in the peak summer months (December) making them more active and increasing the chances of a shark sighting inside the bay. They are seldom seen far from shore, but Great Whites are known to travel vast distances. In case of a shark sighting, the pilot and observers must use their discretion to determine a plan of action. A swimmer pulled out due to shark will deem the attempt as aborted, however, safety comes first!
- The water temperature in False Bay is warmer during the summer months, with a range of 16 to 20 Celsius. However it can drop very quickly to lows of 10 to 13 Celsius in Spring, Autumn and Winter. Swimmers, pilot and observer must be aware off the water temperature and take the correct safety measures.
- The weather in False Bay may change during the swim. Wind can pick up and raise some surface waves and chop. Pilots must be vigilant of the constantly changing wind and swell direction in False bay.