THE Guardia Civil in the Balearic Islands has carried out 106 inspections between 15 June and 10 August this year, recording 15 infringements of the law in the overall plan to control speedboats and pleasure craft. According to a report from the Guardia Civil, the majority of infringements were to do with documentation, for example, irregularities in the appropriate nautical qualifications of the craft's owners. So, out of the 15 penalties incurred on the Islands, 10 were for the owner of the vessel not having sufficient seagoing qualifications, one for not displaying the certificate of the vessel's seagoing worthiness and four related to speedboats. Throughout Spain, 2'624 inspections have been carried out resulting in nearly 1'000 infringements of the law and penalties being charged.
Of 523 inspections carried out on speedboats, 325 irregularities have been detected, of which 118 were for lack of navigation qualification and 95 percent for not having insurance. Among the 2'101 inspections carried out on pleasure craft, 667 penalties were incurred of which 266 were for not being able to show evidence of obligatory insurance, 200 for inadequate qualification on the part of the skipper of the vessel and 201 related to craft not having the appropriate seaworthiness certificates. During the first six months of this year, the Martime Service section of the Guardia Civil answered 300 calls for assistance at sea. Aid was brought to 137 people, 74 had to be rescued and 11 evacuations had to be supervised. The Guardia Civil emphasized, amongst other advice, that when faced with emergency situations where a craft is in imminent danger, it is crucial to send out a mayday signal and to activate the radio beacon. The emergency call must include the name of the boat, its principal characterisitcs, the geographic location, the nature of the imminent danger, the help that is required and the number of people on board. In any event, the Guardia Civil advise not abandoning the craft before the danger has been dealt with, or in the event of the the boat overturning, stay close to it so that rescuers can pinpoint those in distress more easily.

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