Boating & Yachting - Safety


The Ministerio de Fomento is the Spanish government organisation responsible for, among other things, public buildings and works. It includes within it the Merchant Marine department and the Marine Safety Agency which, between them, are responsible for all aspects of safety at sea and the legalities involved. If you break maritime law, these are the people you will have to deal with. But, apart from being the upholders of the law, they also publish two immensely useful booklets to assist mariners.

One of these is the Guia Practica para la Nautica de Recreo (The Practical Guide to Pleasure Sailing) and the other is Seguridad en las Actividades Nauticas (Safer Water Sports).

The first deals with a multitude of topics, including maritime communications, safety and emergency procedures, survival techniques, environmental contamination, and obligatory documentation. It also has a statistical section and lists all the current and projected maritime rescue co-ordination centres. These presently exist in the south at Almeria, Algeciras, Tarifa, Cadiz and Huelva, and are planned for Malaga and Seville.

The second of the booklets concentrates, as its title indicates, on water sports safety, covering swimming, pleasure craft, windsurfing, diving, waterskiing, jet-skis and, finally, contamination. It also lists the rescue centre network and the maritime rescue fleet.

Both booklets are available in a variety of non-Spanish languages, including English, French and German, from most marina offices, chandlers and boat retailers.