Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Very Important - Plymouth University


									Surf Science & Technology (SS&T)
Applied Marine Sports Science (AMSS)

EOE 3410 Fieldtrip Information (2011)
1. Introduction

This information is for the attention of all participants in the Marine Sports third
year fieldtrip to SW France. The fieldtrip constitutes module EOE 3410 and it
is compulsory for all AMSS and SS&T students to attend the trip,
complete any coursework set in respect of the work involved and gain
marks at an appropriate level, for the award of the BSc (honours)

The University is fortunate to have the support of various commercial
organisations in delivering the trip. It is hoped that students will appreciate the
value of such co-operation and strive to gain maximum benefit from it.

It is vital that students realise that the trip is NOT a holiday, though it should
nevertheless be greatly enjoyable. Successfully completion of the module will
entail a lot of hard work, both during the trip and subsequently back in
Plymouth. During the trip, SAFETY is the paramount consideration. All
participants should therefore acquaint themselves very thoroughly with
Section 4 of this handbook, which deals with this subject.

2. Organisational details

2.1 Travel and accommodation

Students are expected to make their own way to SW France. For
example, on Friday 30th September there is a Ryanair flight departing London
Stansted at 1215h and arriving in Biarritz at 1505h, present cost is £33.99.
Return flight is available on Wednesday 5th October for £16.99. Other flights
will also be available on the web. Alternatively, if groups want to drive, there
are Brittany Ferries from Plymouth to Roscoff, followed by a 10 hour drive to
Biarritz. Details of the location of the base for the fieldtrip are shown in the
next section.

You should report to the VVF LA CHAMBRE D’AMOUR, in ANGLET at 4pm
on Friday 30th September 2011. The keys for your accommodation will not
be available before this time. Do not call at the VVF Reception and demand
keys. Keys will be distributed only by academic staff and only between 4pm
and 6pm. You will need to complete the two forms at the back of this booklet
and hand these to academic staff. All students must arrive before 6pm as
important details about the weeks activities will be given out at the
evening meal on Friday evening.
Anglet is located in the far South West of France, in the Basque Region. It is
to the south of the town of Bayonne and to the north of Biarritz. All three seem
to merge into one another in places however. The VVF is about 3 miles from
Parme Airport in Biarritz. Once in Anglet/Biarritz, following the signs for
“Plages Nord” will take you to Plage De La Chambre D‟Amour. The VVF
building is very large and distinctive, right on the sea front, beyond the Sables
D‟Or shopping precinct.

VVF Building

The following four maps in reducing scale, indicate Anglet and the
location of VVF La Chambre D’Amour.
VVF La Chambre D‟Amour
                VVF La Chambre D‟Amour

2.2 Staff
Staff on this fieldweek will be:

Dr Jon Miles                 )
Dr Mark Davidson             ) Fieldtrip leaders
Prof Paul Russell            )
Mr Matt Barlow
Ms Emily Beaumont
Mr Richard Kenyon            ) Technical
2.3 Contact Addresses

During the fieldtrip, staff will be in regular contact with Barbara in the SMSE
Office. Tel: 00 44 1752 586102. Messages can be left there for forwarding.

Urgent messages can be delivered to The Fieldtrip Leader through the VVF
Head Office. The group is staying at the VVF “La Chambre D‟Amour”, in

"La Chambre d‟Amour"
Promenade des sources
64600 Anglet
Tél : 05 59 31 31 31

2.4 Vehicles

For students who drive down there is car parking space at the VVF to leave
vehicles. Staff will have an equipment van and people carrier in case
emergency transport is needed. A locally sourced coach will be used for the
Billabong (Hossegor) visit.

2.5 Programme of activities

   Friday 30/09 arrive at VVF at 4pm. Compulsory evening meeting and briefings
   Saturday 1/10 workshops
   Sunday 2/10 workshops
   Monday 3/10 visit to Billabong HQ in Hossegor, workshops
   Tuesday 4/10 data analysis and preparation for assessed presentations Tuesday evening
   Wednesday 5/10 depart after breakfast

Students will have time for surfing, sightseeing, shopping etc during late
afternoon and early evening. Those wishing to surf or take part in other
“beach” activities will also have the chance to do so before the start of work
on each day. (Advisory only – please see safety note 4.6 below).

2.6 Daylight low-tide times for SW France

Tide tables for the Biarritz area will be distributed at the start of the fieldtrip.
3. What you will need for the fieldtrip

3.1 Equipment

Students should ensure that they are equipped with the following:

yourself in reasonably good health with your „work‟ head on
hard cover notebook
pens, pencils, ruler
scientific calculator
notepad / ring binder
sun protection cream, sunglasses and hat
light waterproof coat

camera may also be very useful for recording information and experiences
reference books e.g. Masselink and Hughes „Introduction to Coastal
Processes and Geomorphology‟

3.2 Clothing

The fieldtrip will have a generally informal tenor so casual clothes will be fine.
Students are asked to take some smarter clothes for the visit to Billabong HQ
to create the best possible impression, including shoes with covered toes for
factory visit.

It is worth noting that the area around Biarritz is fairly smart and the French
dress well. Wearing reasonably smart clothing while out and about will
undoubtedly help students to blend in and be treated well. While the French
are not averse to exposing bare flesh while sunbathing, they are of the
conviction that the beach is the correct place for this - do not walk around the
streets of Anglet or Biarritz without a shirt on.

Fine weather can be experienced in SW France in October but it is also a time
when storms can occur. There is the possibility that we will have no option but
to work in the wind and rain. Students should therefore come prepared for
this. Wellington boots should not however be necessary since most of the
fieldwork will take place on sandy beaches where bare feet or sandals are
more appropriate.

3.3 Surfboard (advisory only - please see safety note 4.6 below)

The waves can be quite challenging in France in October, so shortboarders
are advised to consider a slightly longer board, eg 6‟6” to 7‟0”. Longboards
can work well but in the heavy shorebreak that is common, can be prone to
breakage. If you are not an experienced surfer but wish to take advantage of
the great waves that will be on your doorstep, a bodyboard can be great fun.
Be sure to wear fins when using a bodyboard though.

3.4 Wetsuit (advisory only - please see safety note 4.6 below)

Water temperatures are still quite tolerable during October in SW France so a
summer suit or a long-sleeved shortie should be adequate.

3.5 Money

Aside from paying for their own travel, students should not be required
to make any financial contribution to the trip. Note the University is
reducing the fieldwork bursary but staff are working hard to ensure this
does not affect arrangements for the current trip.

Breakfast and evening meal are provided at the accommodation. Both are
large and excellent - and you are free to eat as much as you wish. Students
should bring sufficient money to cover their additional costs for items such as
snack-lunches, drinks, etc.

Students are reminded that staff do not expect to be asked to change
currency or lend money. It is possible to walk into Biarritz (30 mins) to access
cashpoints / banks.

3.6 Attitude

It may seem trivial but a section on “attitude” has been included here because
it is very important that students understand that they are guests of another
country and as such should respect cultural differences and local customs.
This is particularly important during work on the beaches and while surfing in
free time. It is not good practice to shout or talk loudly in English; when in the
water, in the street or in cafes, bars and restaurants. Students should be
polite at all times and avoid arguments.

In the water, students should smile towards local surfers and offer and
respond to greetings appropriately. French surfers are generally very polite
and will readily offer a “bonjour” as you encounter them. You should respond
with the same level of politeness. Do not “drop-in” or “snake” local surfers and
try to avoid calling local surfers off waves when you have been dropped in
upon – remember there is a lot of beach available and it is usually possible to
find a less crowded peak.

Students should also be aware that WCT events are being held in the area,
so they may at times find themselves sharing the surf with professional
surfers. These surfers (men and women!) can cover considerable distances
very quickly and make seemingly impossible sections so extra care should be
taken to avoid dropping-in.
4. Safety

The beach at ‘Chambre D’Amour’ is exposed to all Atlantic swell and
wind waves. There is virtually no continental shelf and the waves break
with speed and power. The associated currents and rips are strong and
dangerous. The waves can also pick up very quickly. Be aware at all
times and treat the ocean with respect.

Accidents and injuries can ruin fieldtrips so it is in everyone‟s interest that a
competent safety regime is in place and adhered to. Nothing in life is entirely
risk-free, but the following sections provide a sound safety framework that
should not moderate the prospect of everyone having an enjoyable and
informative experience.

4.1 SMSE Safety Policy

The SMSE Safety Policy embraces and reinforces the safety policies of the
University of Plymouth and its Faculty of Science & Technology, with special
attention to the maritime activities of the School.

The policy states that all work will be covered by a risk assessment. Where
such an assessment indicates a level of risk that is unacceptable high, the
activity will be curtailed or halted altogether. The activity will be re-assessed
and the risk level deemed to be acceptable before the activity will be allowed
to continue.

The activities involved in the Marine Sports Fieldtrip are collectively subject to
risk assessment, with individual activities identified.

4.2 Safety File

The Safety File will be in the possession of the Fieldtrip Leader during travel
and located in his apartment while staying at the accommodation.

The Safety File will contain personal details of each participant (students and
staff), including disabilities, medications, special dietary needs, allergies, etc
that have been notified. The file will also hold details of contact names and
addresses for each participant. At the end of this document is attached a copy
of the form that must be completed and submitted to the Field Trip Leader at
the beginning of the trip. Copies will be available from staff at the
4.3 Safety Communications

Routine safety messages will be given at the start of the morning and
afternoon workshop briefings each day. This will include safety aspects
relating to supervised work and advice on wave conditions for unsupervised
free-surfing. Staff will give a verbal flag system:
 Red flag – don‟t enter the water – rips and large waves
 Yellow flag – proceed with caution if sufficiently experienced
 Green flag – no major problems or rips.
Be aware at all times that conditions can and do change quickly.

A Log Book for the Fieldtrip will be retained by the Trip Leader.

Students are requested to comply immediately and without question, with
safety instructions given by University staff, staff of sites being visited and
local authorities (police, fire service, ambulance, lifeguards, etc).

Students are reminded that many of the lifeguards on patrol on French
beaches are members of the French CRS, wielding considerable power and
noted for not tolerating dissent of any kind.

4.4 First Aid

Mr Richard Kenyon and Mr Matt Barlow each hold Beach Lifeguard
qualifications and have undergone first aid training. One or other should be
contacted immediately in the event of illness or injury.

The dedicated Marine Sports first aid kit will be carried by Mr Richard Kenyon
during fieldwork and located in his apartment at other times. This is
comprehensive and includes items such as a neck brace, blankets and a
resuscitation mask.

Students should note that it is good practise to prepare and carry their own
first aid kits, to include any special medicines and equipment of which they
feel they may have special need. This may include items such as inhalers,
support bandages, special creams and ointments, etc.

4.5 Incident reporting

All injuries (even slight ones) and illness should be reported to the Trip Leader
who will complete an accident report form. Incidents which can be described
as “near misses” should also be reported. These can provide useful lessons
for the future.
4.6 Free time

Although there are experiments that offer the opportunity to do so, at no time
during the trip is it actually a requirement that students go in the sea. During
the fieldtrip, periods of free time will be made available to students, during
which students may wish to go surfing. Staff will make it clear when academic
work has ended and these times will be logged in a Fieldtrip Log Book.

Any student engaging in watersports activities during his or her free time does
so entirely at his or her own risk. University of Plymouth staff will not be held
responsible for any accidents or injuries incurred by students who are
engaging in surfing activity or swimming. This condition will apply whether
students use shortboards, longboards, bodyboards or are bodysurfing. All
students will sign a declaration to this effect.

*****Very Important*****
There may be times when staff will recommend that conditions are unsuitable
for some or indeed all students to go in the sea. When large waves are
prevalent, the French beaches can be very dangerous and each year people
are drowned in the heavy shorebreak. In the event of such advice being
given, students are required to heed it. Remember that some members of
staff on the trip have considerable surfing and lifeguarding expertise and have
many years of experience of the beaches of SW France.

Surfing alone should be strictly avoided.

If students wish to go sightseeing or leave the main group for any other
reason, the intended route and expected time of return should be
communicated to staff or others who are staying put.

4.7 Alcohol and drugs

It is recognised that during free time, students may consume alcohol. This is
part of French culture and not in itself a problem provided that a moderate
approach is taken. Excessive consumption, leading to drunkenness and its
associated problems must however be avoided.

Since it impairs judgement and causes dehydration, students intending to surf
during their free time are strongly recommended to avoid all consumption of
alcohol during the 24 hours beforehand.

*****Very Important*****
The use of drugs that are illegal in either the UK or France will not be
tolerated on the field trip, even during free time. Anyone found in possession
of or using such substances will be reported to the authorities immediately
and expelled from the fieldtrip and required to leave the accommodation. The
Trip Leader will report the matter to the Head of School immediately upon
return to the UK so that appropriate disciplinary action may be considered.
4.8 Noise at night at VVF

The VVF accommodation is shared with some other paying guests, and
students are required to be respectful towards other residents, in particular by
keeping noise levels down at night.

4.9 Sun Protection

Even in October, the sun can be very powerful in SW France. Students should
take precautions in respect of the dangers associated with strong sunlight –
eg pterygia skin cancer and sunburn. Sun cream, peaked caps and
sunglasses should be taken.

4.10 Travel during visits

Seat belts that are provided in vehicles should be worn at all times. Students
should not distract the attention of the driver of the vehicle in which they are
travelling. Reckless behaviour on the part of any student while travelling in
fieldtrip vehicles may lead to expulsion from the trip.

In the event of a breakdown or an accident students should stay with the rest
of the group, leave the vehicle and move to a position of safety wherever
possible. Keep off the carriageway and do not wander off.

Smoking is expressly forbidden in vehicles.

4.11 General safety during fieldwork

The basic rules are:

   Listen to the instructions and follow them
   Be aware of what is going on around you – know the state of tide, think
    about the position of hazards.
   If you are unsure about how something works, ask - do not guess
   Before you begin a task, consider what you will do in the event of having a
   Look out for your colleagues – if you see a potential problem developing
    for them, let them know immediately
   Lives are infinitely more valuable than equipment. Do not be a
    hero/heroine trying to save a piece of gear.
   Look out for additional safety information, such as signs indicating high
    voltage cables, unstable cliff faces, etc.

I fully understand that if I engage in any recreational activity (including surfing
and swimming in the sea) before or after academic work relating to the Marine
Sports, SW France Field Trip, I do so entirely at my own risk.

 While surfing during this trip, I will bear full responsibility for my own personal
safety and for any liability to others that I may incur. I do not expect the
University of Plymouth to make any provision for ensuring my safety while

In the event of my sustaining injury or death while surfing, neither I nor my
next of kin will pursue the University of Plymouth and/or members of its staff
for any form of compensation.

I do not expect the University of Plymouth to pursue on my behalf, any claim
for personal injury caused by the negligence of others while taking part in
recreational surfing.

I have read and fully understood this disclaimer.

Signed                                                 Name (print)





The purpose of the information you provide on this form is safety
management of field trips. The information will not be put to any other use.

You should give your home and term time addresses and for each, the name
of someone you would like us to contact in the event of your becoming ill or
having an accident.

Your name

Home address


Home contact

Term address


Term address contact

Please note below any non-medical considerations that may become
important if you become ill or have an accident. (an example might be your
religious beliefs)

Please note here any medical conditions, considerations or requirements that
staff should be aware of. (examples might be diabetes and use of insulin;
asthma and use of inhaler; allergies to certain foods, such as nuts)

To top