29 Jun 2014Don't forget your passport!
As the 2014 season gets under way, all swimmers should be aware of the recent changes in Channel regulations. Please read a message by the CS&PF Chairman Mike Oram
The 2014 Channel swimming season has started. So have the French authorities checks at sea of Channel swim escort boats and their paperwork. There has been a French Duane (customs) cutter patrolling in the French inshore traffic zone at regular intervals and it has already intercepted an escort boat for checks.
The Channel swim escort boats are all required to comply with the new EU laws (as of August 2013) for commercial vessels and to operate under the new MLC coding certification to work in French waters. All of the CS&PF registered escort boats have this certification in place.
The new regulations require the escort boat skippers/ pilots to check that the swimmers, support team members, observers and crew all have PASSPORTS - visas (if needed) and any other required paperwork with them. To complete your Channel swim you are crossing a closed boarder between the UK and Europe.
Pilots will be refusing to start any future swims if PASSPORTS and the paperwork is not in place and, if required, onboard. Your swim is registered with the British and French Coastguards once you or your team have supplied everything required to the CS&PF office. Without CS&PF clearance your swim cannot start. At least 14 days is required to forward the information to the Coastguards.
The escort boats do not supply any of the personal equipment required for a Channel swim unless you have asked for, and arranged for, it to be onboard. That includes items like lightsticks, food, drinks etc.
Please check that your house is in order and everything is in place before you turn up on the quay at Dover; otherwise you will be disappointed when you are turned away and told that you can not swim.