Operation “Boat Safe” over long weekend

Operation "Boat Safe" runs over long weekend

Boat safety

Proper use and maintenance of lifejackets and navigation lights will be the focus of a state-wide boating safety campaign over the long weekend, Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi announced today.

Tripodi said operation “Boat Safe” will also target speed and licence compliance in a campaign by NSW Maritime boating safety officers.

“Lifejackets, correctly used and maintained, are a key safety item on all craft,” Tripodi said.

“There must be one available for every person on board and they must be in good condition, of appropriate size and ready for immediate use.

“Lifejackets are compulsory to wear when crossing coastal bars or when riding a personal watercraft. They should also be worn at times of heightened risk such as when boating alone, at night, or when the conditions get rough.

“It is recommended that children and poor swimmers wear one at all times when in open areas of a boat where it is possible to fall overboard.”

Tripodi said figures for the last boating season again show there were more breaches of lifejacket requirements than any other category.

“More than 660 lifejacket penalty notices were issued, which is an improvement on the 745 handed out the previous season. However, last season’s lifejacket fines still accounted for more than 20 per cent of all notices issued,” Tripodi said.

Each year NSW Maritime boating safety officers conduct approximately 40,000 on-water checks, with safety equipment inspections being the main priority.

“The October long weekend provides NSW Maritime with an opportunity to continue to educate NSW boaters on their responsibilities in relation to lifejacket, licence, navigation lights and safety equipment requirements,” Tripodi said.

For more information on lifejackets visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/lifejacket.html.