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Philip Godwin

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Speed regulations along the Alpes Maritimes coastline
I thought the following would be useful. Best not to fall foul of the authorities!
The below is from the Affaires Maritme.
Speed regulations along the Alpes Maritimes coastline.
In the open sea, there is no speed limit except within the 300 meters shores limit and in regulated zones.
Within the 300 meters shore limit : In French territorial waters, the speed limit is set at 5 knots for the entire year within the 300 meters shores limit which applies also to all islands and rocky outcrops.
This 300 meters distance may be signalled by yellow buoys yet in the absence of such signalisation, the 5 knot speed limit remains the same.
The regulated zones in the Alpes-Maritimes department:
Between the islands of Lerins : The limit is 5 knots in the canal and 3 knots outside of the canal.
In the bay of Cannes: 10 Knots
In the Villefranche inlet: 5 Knots

The speed limit is also limited to 5 knots within the 300 meters radius around the entrances and exits to ports.

Sanctions relating to non-respect of the regulated speed limits:
Administrative Sanctions :
For French citizens, the pleasure boat permit is suspended.
For foreign citizens, permission to navigate in French territorial waters will be revoked.

In both cases the penalty can last for up to a year and in more severe cases the right to navigate may be revoked indefinitely with a refusal to re-write the navigation permit exam for a period of 5 years.
Judicial Sanctions: For both French citizens and foreigners, the Marseille Commercial Maritime Tribunal may hand down a 6 month prison sentence and/or a 3750 Euro penalty fee. Both administrative and judicial sanctions may be cumulative.

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>PWCs & Lights in France
I've researched the regulations issued by the French Authorities for a PWC user having lights on their bouyancy aid as there seems to be some confusion.
These are as follows;
1) It must be visible for a minimum of six hours.
2) It can be either a battery operated light or Cylume stick.
3) There is no requirement for it to be water activated.
The document in French can be downloaded here:

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