Zero tolerance approach to boaters ignoring lifejacket laws

19 September 2013

Roads and Maritime Services Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) will be out in force at boat ramps across NSW from Saturday 21 September with zero tolerance to be shown to boaters not observing lifejacket laws.

Roads and Maritime Acting Director Michael Wright said Operation Ramp Check will be carried out before the official start of the boating season to ensure boaters are educated and aware of key boating safety requirements as they launch and retrieve boats.

“Boaters must be prepared and understand changes to boating legislation introduced in November 2010 before heading out on the water.

“BSOs will carry out safety checks to educate boaters on lifejacket and other safety equipment, boat ramp etiquette and ensuring navigation lights are correctly fitted.

“Boaters will be reminded authorities have switched to zero tolerance mode when it comes to ignoring lifejacket rules and penalties will apply.

“The zero tolerance follows the last two boating season campaigns which reminded boaters lifejackets need to be worn more often and in more situations, depending the boating activity, size of the boat and age of the person. Just like seatbelts must be worn in a car, boaters need to understand lifejackets save lives.

“Lifejackets must be in good condition and either worn or available, depending on circumstances, easily accessible as be the right size for each person on board.

“Boaters need to ensure lifejackets are worn in times of heightened risk, regardless of the size and type of vessel.

“Just like the campaign says, a lifejacket never ruined a day on the water. If in doubt, wear one.

“Boaters are also reminded there will be increased activity on Sydney Harbour from 3 to 11 October for the International Fleet Review,” Michael Wright said.

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