Physical Education Unit - Safety Guidlines


  1. Life Jacket/Buoyancy Aid
    1. Life jacket/buoyancy aid must be worn at all times while pursuing water sports.
    2. Make sure life jacket/buoyancy aid fits your body size and all the knots are tight.

  2. Swimming Ability
    1. All participants should be a competent swimmer, confident in the water and able to handle themselves underwater and in white water when their boats/equipment capsize.

  3. Fill in Navigation Form
    1. All participants should inform the Centre Office where you are going and what time you expect to be back.

  4. Weather Conditions
    1. Be aware whether the weather, tide and other conditions are safe for sailing. Never sail under the following circumstances.
      1. The Centre Supervisor observes that thunder-storm warning will be hazardous for water sports in the area.
      2. Typhoon signal No.3 or above is hoisted.
      3. Black rainstorm warning signal is announced.
    2. Obtain a weather forecast.

  5. Be Accompanied
    1. Participants should never pursue water sports alone.

  6. Clothing
    1. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Remember that weather conditions can change rapidly. The effect of wind chill and lower water temperatures during the winter season can result in hypothermia after only even a relatively short period of immersion.
    2. Wear rubber shoes with heel-toe covered.
    3. Always have spare dry clothes when sailing and canoeing.

  7. Equipment Checking
    1. Check the seaworthiness of your boat/equipment which should be in good condition.
    2. Bring a whistle for emergency.
    3. Bring a first aid kit.
    4. Bring communication equipment such as walkie-talkie and mobile phone whenever available.

  8. Observe the Centre Flag Signals
    1. Windsock - means the Centre is open.
    2. Red Flag - means it will be dangerous to carry out any water sports activities. All water sports activities should stop immediately. All participants are required to return to the centres as soon as possible.
    3. Yellow Flag - means the weather is beginning to worsen or there is danger in offshore waters. Hence, all water sports activities should be carried out in the waters near the shoreline.
    4. N Flag - means the time for the current session of water sports activities is ending soon.

  9. Areas for Activities
    1. Beginners are advised to carry out their activities near the Centre.

  10. Hypothermia
    1. The lowering of the body temperature can be serious, even fatal. Early warning signs are uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, bluish tinge to lips, lack of coordination, and poor concentration. Prevention is the best medicine; layer clothing and get adequate food and water.

  11. Dehydration
    1. The body becomes dehydrated when more fluids are lost than replaced. It is important to drink plenty of water.

  12. When In Danger
    1. Rescue people first, equipment later.
    2. In the recovery of equipment, avoid taking unnecessary risks which might further endanger yourself or others.
    3. Procedures for getting help if you have a mobile telephone are as follows:
      1. Telephone the Centre Office and ask the Supervisor for rescue. Ensure the Supervisor knows your position, the nature of the problem and your telephone number so you can be contacted.
      2. If you are unable to reach someone at the Centre, telephone the Marine Police.
      3. Emergency contact numbers are as follows:
        • 2603 6776 - Centre Office
        • 2609 7999 - Security Office, CUHK
        • 2735 3355 - Ambulance
        • 999 - Police & Emergency
        • 2603 4060 - Marine Police (Tai Po Kau)

  13. Capsizes Skills
    1. All participants must know how to right a capsized boat/equipment and have the equipment and skills needed to do this.

  14. Special Considerations When Sailing
    1. Sailors must be qualified for Level Two Sailing Certificate or above.
    2. Make sure oars, bungs and hailer are on the boat.
    3. Remove unnecessary rope and items from the boat.
    4. Pay particular attention to the condition of the mast rigging, rudder pins and gudgeons.
    5. Checked your mast every 12 months to ensure that it is properly sealed and will not fill with water during capsize.
    6. Sail in a company of at least two boats.
    7. Do not overload the boat. Pay attention of sail boat maximum loading before sailing.
    8. Always stay with the boat. Never leave the boat unless it is out of control or is floating toward the danger.
    9. Keep away from passing boats and swimmers.
    10. Watch out the towline and the fish net.
    11. Never sail too far away from the Centre. Follow the suggested sailing areas for sailors at different level, otherwise inform the Supervisor in advance.
    12. Sailors should sail upwind and take down their main sail before approaching the slipway.

  15. Special Consideration When Canoeing
    1. Canoeist should be able to swim 50m in canoe clothing and must be qualified for 3 Stars Award Certificate or above.
    2. Canoe in a company of at least two. Never canoe alone.
    3. Always try to carry a spare paddle.
    4. Always wear a cagoule or windproof top.
    5. Never canoe in an unfamiliar area without a leader.
    6. Listen very carefully to all instructions given by your instructors.

  16. Special Considerations When Windsurfing
    1. Windsurfer must be qualified for Basic Windsurfing Certificate or above.
    2. Check if your wet suit is warm enough. whether your harness is in good condition and with no lines frayed.
    3. Your rig should be secured onto the board with a safety leash.
    4. Check the skeg to see if it is fixed in place.
    5. Try to always sail with an organised club or some friends. Try to limit your sailing to within 300 metres off the shore if possible.
    6. Stay within your ability. If you are in doubt, do not go out. Choose the length (Short, Medium and Long) of your board according to your ability and skills.
    7. If you get into trouble, staying with your board is your first priority, notifying somebody of your plight is your second, and limping in alone is your third.

  17. Special Considerations When Using Motor Boats
    1. Motor boat users must possess a valid Hong Kong Masters and Engineers (Outboard Motors) Class 2 license.
    2. According to the HKSAR Marine Department regulations, speed restriction around the Centre seafront is 5 knots. All motor boats users should comply.
    3. Motor boat users must pay attention not only to their own safety but also the safety of other.
    4. No petrol or other inflammable liquid should be stored in any motor boat. They should be stored at the Centre Danger Goods Store.

  18. The Most Common Reasons For Accidents
    1. Failure to recognise a potential environmental threat; unfamiliar with area for activity or characteristics of weather.
    2. Equipment failure; inspections and replacement neglected.
    3. Too ambitious or overestimation of their own abilities.
    4. Solo activity; itinerary unknown to others.
    5. Hypothermia (cooling of the body and brain) owing to improper clothing.
    6. Lack of rest (fatigue); poor physical conditioning.
    7. Thirst (dehydration during salt water activities).