Notice to Mariners 02 of 2020 – General Advice

General Information

The Harbour and in particular the waters around Sandy Bay are a busy area for on water activities including; Canoeing, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing, Stand up Paddle boarding and open water swimming.


Safety Information

This notice is intended to give specific advice to Kayaks, Canoes, Windsurfers, Stand up Paddle Boards, Kite Surfers, Personal Watercraft and also to swimmers taking part in on-water activities. This advice is in line with the principles of the Port Marine Safety Code and the accompanying Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations. Bridgend County Borough Council considers that all mariners should take reasonable precautions to ensure that all those who use the water do so safely.

  • Ensure you have checked the current and future weather forecast and that sea conditions are suitable for the size/type of vessel or activity and your competence level.
  • Familiarise yourself with areas of shallow water and charted obstructions.
  • Equipment should be fit for purpose and clearly marked with your name and contact details.
  • That lifejackets or buoyancy aids are maintained, fit for purpose and worn at all times if appropriate.
  • Caution should be exercised when crossing entrance channel to Porthcawl Marina and avoided if possible.
  • Be aware of equipment that could cause harm if touched, including; boards, fins, lines and sails.
  • Kayakers/Canoeists/Swimmers should wear high viz apparel and consider a highly coloured tow buoy/swim cap to aid visibility. Carry a waterproof grab bag with radio/mobile/flares/torch as considered necessary.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and other water/beach users.
  • A 5 knot speed limit is in place within the marina entrance.
  • All vessels using the Harbour and surrounding water must comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS 1972), General Directions, Local Notices to Mariners and Harbour Master’s Directions. It is the responsibility of all those who go afloat to familiarise themselves with these directions.
  • Tell somebody on shore of your movements.


Bridgend County Borough Council as Harbour Authority is concerned that some swimmers may expose themselves to unnecessary risk. Parents of young swimmers, and swimmers themselves, are reminded of the following basic precautions:-

  • Never dive or jump into water of an unknown depth.
  • Never dive or jump from structure.
  • Never swim near moving boats, boats running their engines or boats which may depart their moorings.
  • Never swim in the recommended route or access channels.
  • Never swim in strong currents and/or tides.
  • Never swim after consuming alcohol or after a meal.
  • Beware of the cold.
  • It is not advisable to swim alone.
  • Always swim within your limitations.
  • Always tell someone on the shore where you are swimming and when you expect to return to the shore.
  • Consideration to wearing a high visibility swim cap and tow buoy to increase visibility.

Safety in and around the Harbour

Bridgend County Borough Council does not wish to over-regulate the use of the harbour. Harbour users should be able to safely enjoy the full range of activities available. It is appreciated that going afloat can never be free of risk and that everybody who uses the harbour has an important role to play.

  • The Master, Skipper or person in charge of a vessel, regardless of type or size, remains responsible for its safety, except in the case of children, where adults have additional responsibilities.
  • All vessels using the Harbour must comply with the COLREGS, General Directions and Harbour Master’s Directions. It is the responsibility of all those who go afloat to familiarise themselves with these regulations.
  • Personal Watercraft (Jetskis) are encouraged to use the area around Newton Bay as a play area.
  • There may be times when it is not safe to participate in a particular activity. Before taking to the water those in charge of vessels and adults responsible for children need to carefully consider the prevailing weather, tidal and traffic conditions.