Lirs group snorkeling regulations




Дата канвертавання22.04.2016
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LIRS GROUP SNORKELING REGULATIONS
DEFINITION

  • Group snorkelers visit LIRS as part of a student group or a special interest group led by staff of the group’s own institution or by professionals engaged by that institution.

  • Group snorkelers may or may not be experienced snorkelers.

  • They are supervised while snorkeling by suitably qualified adult members of the group.

  • Group snorkelers who are over the age of 18 years may elect to snorkel independently under certain circumstances with the approval of their snorkeling coordinator and after completing an Independent Snorkeler Form.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SNORKELING

  • Formal snorkeling qualifications are not required.

  • Each snorkeler must complete a Group Snorkeler Form before any snorkeling takes place. The form requires a statement about swimming ability and disclosure of certain medical conditions that may increase the risks of snorkeling.

  • At least a week before the trip starts, group leaders must forward a completed Group Snorkeler Form (Form 2) to LIRS for each group member including supervisors. Parent/guardian signatures are required on the form for each group member who is under the age of 18 years.

  • The following supervisory roles must be filled by competent and qualified adults who are part of the group: a snorkeling coordinator, one or more licenced and experienced boat drivers, one or more lookouts or guides, and one or more providers of first aid/ medical oxygen. The supervisors must accept their various responsibilities in writing on the Group Supervisor Form (Form 3) before any snorkeling takes place.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Group Leader

  • obtains a completed Group Snorkeler Form (Form 2) for each person in the group, including supervisors, and submits them to LIRS at least a week before the trip begins (the signature of a parent or guardian is required for snorkelers under the age of 18)

  • appoints a competent and suitably experienced person as the snorkeling coordinator (the group leader and the snorkeling coordinator may be the same person)

  • ensures that sufficient adults in the group are competent and willing to accept the other required supervisory positions

  • advises (or requires the snorkeling coordinator to advise) the group of the institution’s restrictions on swimming from shore during free time, with or without snorkeling gear, and enforces those restrictions (or requires the snorkeling coordinator to enforce them)

Snorkeling Coordinator

  • ensures that the Group Supervisor Form has been signed by each person in the group with a supervisory role

  • conducts risk assessment for the group’s intended activities

  • identifies people in the group who have medical conditions that increase the risks of snorkeling and implements measures to reduce those risks

  • assesses snorkeling competence of group snorkelers and provides training, graded experience and particular supervision as required

  • approves use of a weight belt to competent group snorkelers under certain conditions

  • ensures that all group snorkelers are assigned to and always travel in a particular LIRS boat

  • assesses conditions within the defined Low Risk Area and does not allow snorkeling there unless defined low risk conditions exist (Appendix 5)

  • obtains approval from the LIRS Diving Officer for all group snorkeling activities outside the Low Risk Area

  • posts at least one lookout if the snorkeling group is of more than 11 people in total, and ensures that the lookout has polarising sunglasses, binoculars and a whistle

  • assesses whether more than one lookout is required for each activity

  • may post a guide instead of a lookout if the snorkeling group is of 11 people or less, and a proper assessment of the risks involved shows that is reasonable not to have a lookout

  • ensures that a qualified first aid and oxygen provider is present at the snorkeling site who is ready to provide aid immediately if required

  • provides a briefing to the group at the site before each snorkeling activity

Lookout

  • vigilantly observes the whole area where snorkeling is taking place from a location out of the water

  • is solely engaged in being the lookout

  • has binoculars and polarising sunglasses to enhance ability to see all snorkelers

  • has a whistle to make a general recall signal

  • counts snorkelers entering the water and makes frequent head counts during the activity

  • keeps track of snorkelers as they return to their assigned boats or as they reach shore

  • ensures that all people are present before the group leaves the snorkeling site


Guide

  • follows the plan for keeping snorkelers together as outlined by the snorkeling coordinator during the pre-snorkel briefing

  • is vigilant for snorkelers in distress and is prepared to go to the aid of a snorkeler in distress immediately

  • counts snorkelers entering the water and during the snorkeling activity

  • ensures that all people are present before the group leaves the snorkeling site


First aid and oxygen provider

Group snorkeler

  • discloses any medical or competency issues that may affect snorkeling safety

  • follows snorkeling coordinator’s instructions and heeds briefings

  • maintains close visual contact with buddy

  • understands signals for “Help”, “OK” and general recall

  • uses a weight belt only with approval of the snorkeling coordinator

EQUIPMENT

  • Snorkelers bring their own equipment or they hire it from LIRS. Masks, snorkels, fins, wetsuits and lycra suits are available.

  • Weight belts are provided free of charge to group snorkelers who have been approved to use them by their snorkeling coordinator.


GROUP SNORKELING LOCATIONS

  • Group snorkeling can take place anywhere within the Low Risk Area (see below) that is designated daily at LIRS on the basis of prevailing and forecast weather conditions

  • The snorkeling coordinator must assess whether low risk conditions actually exist at the site before snorkeling takes place. If they do not, then the group must move to another location.

  • Groups may charter the resort’s dive boat for snorkeling trips to reefs away from the Lizard Island Group. These locations are outside the Low Risk Area and such trips are conducted under the resort’s regulations.

  • Other proposals for snorkeling outside the Low Risk Area are subject to additional risk assessment by the snorkeling coordinator and approval from the LIRS Diving Officer.

LOW RISK AREA

Southeasterly conditions prevail for at least eight months per year and a stable Low Risk Area (shown shaded) generally applies during those conditions. Note that:



  • The LIRS Diving Officer may cancel this general dispensation at any time

  • The LIRS Diving Officer may post a map showing a different Low Risk Area according to prevailing and forecast weather conditions


Low Risk Conditions are defined as:

  • Depth of bottom does not exceed 20 metres

  • Swell and/or wave height does not exceed 0.5 metres

  • Current is nil to slight (snorkelers can swim against it with minimum exertion)

  • Underwater visibility is greater than 4 metres

  • Activity starts and ends in full daylight


GROUP SNORKELING PROCEDURES


  • Before the group enters the water for each snorkeling activity, the snorkeling coordinator must provide a briefing to the group that:

  • defines the boundaries of the snorkeling area

  • identifies any potential hazards that have not been covered previously or are peculiar to the site

  • identifies the lookout and/or guide to the group

  • informs snorkelers of the plan for following a guide, if a guide is appointed, and

  • requires all snorkelers to form buddy pairs, or trios if an uneven number of people.

  • One or more lookouts must be posted if the group size is 12 people or more.

  • The snorkeling coordinator must assess whether a single lookout is reasonable for each activity. As a guide, one lookout is usually reasonable within the Low Risk Area for groups of up to 25 people who are competent swimmers but risk assessment may indicate the need for more lookouts under different circumstances.

  • When a lookout is posted, s/he must:

  • be positioned out of the water where s/he can see the whole area where snorkeling is taking place

  • be solely engaged in being the lookout

  • have a binoculars and polarising sunglasses to enhance the lookout’s ability to see all snorkelers

  • have a whistle to make a general recall signal

  • count snorkelers entering the water and keep constant watch, making frequent head counts

  • keep track of snorkelers as they return to their assigned boats or as they reach shore

  • ensure that all people are present before the group leaves the snorkeling site.

  • If the lookout is not also a first aid and oxygen provider, the snorkeling coordinator must make sure that a person who does have such training is immediately available to assist the lookout if required.

  • If a signal for assistance is made by a snorkeler, the lookout must quickly assess the level of emergency. The lookout should consider passing his/her duties to another person while going to the assistance of the snorkeler, or of recalling the group. However, if the snorkeler clearly requires immediate aid, the lookout should act to provide it immediately.

  • The snorkeling coordinator may dispense with a lookout and appoint an in-water guide instead only if:

  • the group involved in the snorkeling activity (including the guide) is of 11 people or less

  • the snorkeling coordinator has conducted a proper assessment of the risks involved in not having a lookout (i.e. additional risk assessment on the Group Supervisor Form (Form 3) or a similar format), and

  • it is reasonable having regard to those risks not to have a lookout

  • When a guide is appointed instead of a lookout, the guide must

  • follow the plan for keeping snorkelers together as outlined by the snorkeling coordinator during the pre-snorkel briefing

  • be vigilant for snorkelers in distress and be prepared to go to the aid of a snorkeler in distress immediately

  • count snorkelers entering the water, during the snorkeling activity, and at the end of the activity

  • If group snorkelers over the age of 18 wish to become independent snorkelers during the course of their visit to LIRS, they must obtain the consent of their snorkeling coordinator and complete an Independent Snorkeler Form.

NIGHT SNORKELING

  • For the purposes of group snorkeling, “night” is defined as any time between sunset and sunrise.

  • The snorkeling coordinator must discuss plans for night snorkeling with the LIRS Diving Officer at least a day in advance. Consideration must be given to locations, personnel, navigation, equipment and specific procedures. The coordinator must submit a risk assessment (i.e. additional risk assessment on the Group Supervisor Form (Form 3) or a similar format) for approval.

  • Each snorkeler must have

  • a cyalume or other constant light source firmly attached to the snorkel, and

  • an underwater torch

  • At least one lookout must be posted but more may be required depending on the size of the group, weather conditions and other risk factors.

  • The lookout must have two torches and a VHF radio.

SWIMMING DURING FREE TIME

  • During “free time” from group activities at LIRS, group members often wish to swim from shore with or without snorkeling gear.

  • Groups differ in the degree of regulation required of such water activities, ranging as they do from early secondary school students through tertiary students to elderly adults.

  • At the beginning of the trip, the group leader must advise the group of the institution’s restrictions on swimming from shore during free time, with or without snorkeling gear, and enforce those restrictions. The group leader may delegate these responsibilities to the snorkeling coordinator.

  • Restrictions should be based on careful risk assessment, considering age, ability, location, distance from shore, time of day, weather and sea conditions, number of people participating and whether there is a need for supervision or a sign-out procedure.


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