Kick off a safer boating season at Batemans Bay this weekend

Monday 22 September 2014

Member for Bega Andrew Constance is encouraging the local community to head down to the Hanging Rock boat ramp overlooking Batemans Bay this Sunday 28 September for a day of fun and free activities which aim to promote safe boating.

Mr Constance said the NSW Government will host the annual Boating Safety Day with safe boating activities, including competitions with prizes and demonstrations of key boating equipment, taking place between 10am and 2pm.

“Boating Safety Day effectively kicks off the new boating season and aims to get boaters and future boaters into the right safety habits,” Mr Constance said.

“Roads and Maritime boating safety officers and boating education officers will be on hand to answer questions, give interactive lifejacket and flare demonstrations and educate the public about essential boating safety equipment. “Local residents are invited to come down and take part in safe boating competitions with a chance to win prizes, grab free educational giveaways and enjoy a sausage sizzle.

“South Coast Boating Safety Officer Shane Murtagh will attend and also use the opportunity to publicly cut off his impressive crop of dreadlocks to raise money for cancer research.”

Mr Murtagh is raising money after the loss of his father to lung cancer earlier this year.

“It was a difficult time and I will do anything I can to help prevent other families having to go through the same thing,” Mr Murtagh said.
“I am known on the water as the BSO with the dreads. I literally haven’t been to the hairdresser in years but I am going to cut them all off to raise money for a good cause to help fight cancer which affects everyone in some way.”

Information displays from a range of water safety partners highlighting current products and technology related to staying safe on the water will be featured at all regional events.

“A key objective this year is to break down the perception that all lifejackets are big, bulky and uncomfortable. We’ll be showcasing modern, functional, slim designed lifejackets that can be worn in comfort for the duration of a typical day out in a boat,” Mr Constance said.
"We’re heading into the peak boating season and our focus will continue to be the promotion of safe and responsible boating habits to the almost two million people who engage in waterway activity in NSW each year.

“Our single most important message is people must wear a lifejacket when boating.”

Boating Safety Day is also the final event of Water Safety Week which started with the raising of the flags by Surf Life Saving NSW last weekend.

Water safety partners at the local events include DPI Fisheries, Marine Rescue NSW, Police Marine Area Command, Marine Teachers Association, BIA, Surf Life Saving NSW, Paddle NSW and Sailability NSW.

To be part of Mr Murtagh’s efforts to raise money for Cancer Council of NSW research, go to his fundraising page.

For more information on safe boating, go to the Maritime site.

Media: Shannon Whitford – 6492 2056

View the original media release (PDF)

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