Motor boat

  • Operators of high-speed vessels: a) prohibit the boarding of individuals who do not know how to swim or individuals under the influence of alcohol or toxic substances, b) prohibit the boarding of individuals whose number exceeds the capacity stated in the prescribed certificate of seaworthiness, c) prohibit passengers from standing or sitting on the gunwale of the vessel, d) operate the vessel with great care, avoiding dangerous maneuvers, prioritizing navigational safety and preventing pollution of the sea and coasts, e) carry on board the original license for operating a high-speed vessel, the original certificate of seaworthiness, and a copy of the insurance policy, which must be presented whenever requested by an authorized official of the Port Authorities, f) carry the required equipment for their category, such as rescue and firefighting equipment. All equipment should be suitable for immediate use and not expired, g) in case the high-speed vessel does not have a fuel gauge, they carry a spare suitable fuel container with a safety cap and a capacity of at least three liters, or an auxiliary tank of equivalent capacity, h) comply with the specific port regulations, decisions, orders, and instructions of the Port Authorities in the area of their jurisdiction, including those concerning anchoring, navigation restrictions, or prohibitions for specific reasons, in specific maritime areas or during specific quiet hours, i) in the event of an accident involving another vessel or person, they are obliged to remain at the accident site and provide any possible assistance to the affected individuals. They also have an obligation to immediately report the accident to the Port Authority, j) it is prohibited to navigate: ja) at a distance less than one hundred meters from the outer part of floating buoys mentioned in Article 26, jb) at a distance less than two hundred meters from the usual point where swimmers reach in areas not marked by floating buoys, jc) at a speed exceeding five knots within a distance of less than two hundred meters from the shoreline in areas where there are no swimmers present, in any case, jd) when adverse weather conditions prevail.

    2. Owners of speedboats: a) Take care of the proper maintenance and decent appearance of their vessels. b) Fulfill their obligations regarding the inspection of their vessels. c) Have written on the sides of their vessels the name, port, and registration number in the Small Vessel Register (B.E.M.S.) or the logbook. d) Ensure that their vessel is equipped with the required seaworthiness certificate and insurance. The seaworthiness certificate and a copy of the insurance policy of the vessel are valid, kept on board, and presented whenever requested by a Port Authority official. e) Prohibit the use of their vessels by individuals who do not possess a speedboat operator's license, according to Article 3, as well as by individuals under the influence of alcohol or toxic substances. f) Equip their vessels with the necessary supplies suitable for their category, such as life-saving and fire-fighting equipment. All supplies are ready for immediate use, and the expiry date of perishable supplies has not passed.
    Issue B' 6543/21.12.2022 Government Gazette 68343
    3. In the case of leasing a speedboat, the lessor fulfills the obligations of paragraph 2, and the lessee fulfills the obligations of paragraph 1.
    4. The leasing of a speedboat is prohibited: a) During adverse weather conditions. b) Before sunrise and after sunset. c) When there are damages or malfunctions in the engine.
    5. The departure and return from and to the coast of the leased speedboat are permitted only within the designated corridor of Article 27 and at the lowest possible speed, according to the construction type of the speedboat, with the aim of ensuring the safety of swimmers, until that specific point at sea where the provisions of paragraph 1, subclause i, do not apply.


  • 1. Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Protection of Swimmers in the Sea - Laws of 1968 and 1986 - Law 72/1968 and Law 12/1986:
    "Boat" means any motor or sailing vessel and includes a surfboard, a sea bike, a canoe, a sea scooter and any other floating means capable of putting in danger the safety of swimmers in the sea as well as trailers under them;
    2. The entrance and its use in a bathing area is prohibited. 
    Article 4 (1) Prohibition of transit through the areas: 
    4. (1) The declaration of the area shall be prohibited when it
     (a) passes through it 
    (b) is docked or parked therein
    3. It should not be attached to buoys that mark the bathing areas.
    Article 4 (B) It is prohibited when:
    4B. Any person who attaches any impure or other object to any buoy at sea whereas the area is designated or interferes in any way with the buoy, then he is guilty of a criminal offense.
    Provisions of the High-speed boats Laws of 1992 to 2001 and the high-speed boats Regulations of 1999 related to speed boats:
    4. Definition of high-speed boat and high-speed operator.
    Article 2 (Interpretation) of the high-speed boats Laws from 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    "High-speed boat" is a vessel that extends no more than fifteen (15) meters in length and can speed up at least fifteen (15) knots.
    'Operator' refers to any person who operates a high-speed vessel at a specified time as well as any person responsible for the operation of the vessel while it is anchored anywhere, while in case of a trailer it refers to the operator of the vessel from which the trailer is towed.
    5. Persons who reside in Cyprus must necessarily hold a high-speed operator's license in order to operate high-speed vessels. The license is granted to persons who are over 18 and have passed successfully the theoretical and practical exams. Temporary visitors (such as tourists) are entitled to operate high-speed boats rented by water sports centers, if they have signed a binding agreement with the owner (or the person who is in charge of the facilities) stating clearly that the renter is aware of the proper way of operating the vessel. Persons who have reached the age of 17 may be granted with an apprentice pilot license and they can operate a high speed boat provided that they are always accompanied by a person who has a license.
    Article 4 (High-speed boat operator’s license and apprentice operator) of the high-speed boat Laws of 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    4. (1) No one can operate as a speedboat operator unless he is provided with a speedboat operator license (hereinafter referred to as "pilot license") or a licensed apprentice speedboat operator (hereinafter referred to as "apprentice license") issued by the competent authority.
    (2) Foreign nationals who reside abroad are not required to hold the license referred to in the above paragraph, provided that they hold a corresponding license or certificate that presents their ability to operate high-speed boats issued by a competent authority.
    Temporary visitors for a period of less than thirty (30) days, who do not possess the above license or certificate may operate a Class B cruiser provided that they have signed the specified binding statement with the owner of the vessel in which it appears that the owner has been assured of the visitor's knowledge of the matters specified by the Regulations issued under this Law.
    Persons who have reached the age of 17 may be granted with an apprentice pilot license and they can operate a speedboat provided that they are always accompanied by a person who has a license of it.
    6. Obligation to transfer the license of a speedboat operator and / or the license of an apprentice speedboat operator, or a binding declaration for the operation of a rental high-speed boat.
    Regulation 11 of the Speed Boats Regulations of 1999 - CP 121/1999:
    11. Each speedboat operator must carry with him on a waterproof case the pilot's license or apprentice's license, depending the situation,  issued by the competent authority or in the case of a temporary visitor, he must carry a copy of the binding declaration.
    7. Provisions for operating speedboats in a safe way.
    Article 16 (Operation of high-speed boats) of the speedboats Act of 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    16. Given the fact that the provisions regarding the Baths Protection Acts of 1968 and 1986 and any law amending or replacing them are not interfered, when a high-speed boat is located in an area which is not designated for swimmers but it is used by them, then the operator must enter and exit from this area with the greatest care and attention, as slowly as he can.
    Regulation 31 (1) of the Speed Boats Regulations of 1999 - CP 121/1999:
    31- (1). The high-speed boats that pass through the signaled channels located in bathing areas, as these determined by decree based on the Bathers Protection Act of 1968 and 1986, or any other law that amends or replaces them, as well as in any other maritime area up to 100 meters away from the nearest shore or rock,  should not speed up more than 3 knots and generally does not produce dangerous ripples to the swimmers.
    8. Prohibition of the operation of high-speed boat when the person is under the influence of drugs or medicines and under the influence of alcohol in excess of the specified limit.
    Article 8 (Operation of a Speed Boat when the amount level of alcohol during the expiration control exceeds the prescribed limit) of the Speed Boats Laws of 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    8. Anyone handling or attempting to operate a high-speed vessel at sea, having already consumed so much alcohol that exceeds the prescribed limit on exhalation or blood, or under the influence of drugs which reduce it His ability to operate a high-speed boat is guilty of an offense.
    Article 3 (provisions of the First Board) of the Speedboat Laws 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992: Attention: 
    The operator's attention is drawn to its provisions in the Speed Boats Act of 1992 and in particular to the following:
    1. It is prohibited to operate a high-speed boat without an operator's license
    2. Anyone who is on board must wear life jackets or navigational aids and must be seated only in the designated seats.
    3. The KillSwitch must always be connected to the operator.
    4. It is prohibited to operate a speedboat in a manner that could put someone’s life and his physical integrity or could cause nuisance
    5. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and psychotropic substances is prohibited
    6. Do not drive in the area of bathers
  • Motorboating is an extremely popular activity through out Europe, where over 3.6 million motor boats are registered. However, recreational boating is risky, especially when mixed with tourists, alcohol and inexperience. Most fatal boating accidents take place on smaller motorboats (less than 16 feet in length). Alcohol is estimated to be involved in one third of all boating fatalities. In Finland, a study showed that alcohol was involved in more than 63% of boating deaths.

    Why motorboats can be risky for children and youth?

    While most young children wear PFDs on motorboats, very few older children are willing to, which is especially alarming because they represent a high risk group for drowning. Additionally, teenagers may be inclined to drink alcohol while boating, which will greatly increase the chance of an accident. Studies show that intoxicated passengers carry nearly as high a risk of injury as intoxicated boat operators, whether the boat is moving or not!
    One of the greatest risks to children on motorboats is the propeller. Statistics show that nearly half of propeller injury victims are children. Children are likely to want to swim near the boat, or may be hurt while water-tubing behind the boat, or perhaps are more likely to fall overboard and be struck. Boats can be fitted with a pop-guard which will help protect against propeller strikes.
    Most motorboat accidents are not caused by faulty equipment, but rather by careless behavior, alcohol, poor supervision, or lack of preparation for handling a small emergency such as a storm or a fall overboard.

    Recommendations for boating with children
    ● Only people with previous boating education should be permitted to rent a boat.
    ● Nobody who has been drinking should be allowed to operate or ride in the motorboat.
    ● All passengers must wear a personal flotation device.
    ● Show all passengers the location of the propeller.
    ● Always stop the engine and put the boat in gear before any passenger swims.
    ● Keep a wide berth from swimmers and be alert for diver flags and zoning buoys.
    ● Small children may be most safely seated on the floor of the boat.
    ● Child passengers should be told beforehand how to safely enter and exit the boat, about the rules for swimming, where to sit safely, and the location of the propeller.
    ● Instruct parents to never fasten a child to a motorboat, this could prove fatal in a capsise.
    ● Have renters leave a plan on where they will be boating, and when they expect to return. This will aid in a search should they not return. Approximately 70% of all fatal accidents occur on motorboats where the operator has not received boating safety instruction.
    ● In case of a fall overboard, boat operators should be instructed to turn the bow of the boat toward the swimmer and immediately cut the engine to avoid propeller strikes.
    ● If the boaters will be engaging in tow sports such as water-skiing, be sure that there will be at least 2 adults onboard, one to drive the boat with the neccessary license (certified ski instructor), the other to monitor the tow line and the skier.

    What safety factors to look for in choosing equipment for your operation?
    Most significant is to consider what your client base really needs. Most renters of motorboats simply want to boat freely about in the water, and will not be seeking the strongest engine or the fastest racing boat. In fact, it may be a siginificant safety advantage to not provide such boats! When renting to groups and families, be sure the boat is not especially prone to capsise, that the boat design allows for easy entry and exit from the water should renters wish to swim while boating, that the entry and exit points will not bring people too close in contact to the propeller, and that there are secure areas for children to be seated.

    Staff Preparedness
    ● All staff should be trained in CPR and first aid.
    ● Always have at least 2 staff members present – one to speak with customers and handle training, another to monitor the water.
    ● A life saving vehicle should be at hand.
    ● Motorboats should be equipped with a quick stop (a cord which attaches to the steering wheel and the driver’s wrist, and which will stop the engine should the driver go overboard).
    ● All motorboats should be supplied with the following: an oar, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit, and if space allows, an anchor.
    ● All staff members should be able to clearly communicate the risks and safety rules to clients. A language barrier could pose a problem should an accident occur, both in terms of immediate medical care and liability for having failed to properly communicate the rules.

    *Source : European Child Safety Alliance, Eurosafe; 2008.- With the support of the European Commission