Results in from 'Operation Go Easy on the Alcohol'

25 November 2014

More than 1211 vessel safety checks and 127 random breath tests were carried out during Operation Go Easy on the Alcohol with one person charged with operating a vessel with a low range prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) and 30 fines for lifejacket breaches.

Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell said the alcohol awareness campaign was aimed not only at compliance but at creating awareness about the consumption of alcohol during boating activities.

“In the past two years alcohol has been a contributing factor in at least eight boating incidents which resulted in three fatalities and five serious injuries,” Mr Mitchell said.

“During the campaign boating safety officers (BSOs) throughout the state randomly stopped boaters to ensure they had all necessary safety equipment on board, including lifejackets.

“BSOs arranged joint patrols with NSW Police Marine Area Command (MAC) and Local Area Command (LAC) to conduct standard safety equipment checks and enable random breath tests (RBTs) to be carried out.

“While carrying out safety checks BSOs discussed blood alcohol limits for recreational vessels with vessel operators and educated them on the risks of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol.

“One boat operator tested positive with a reading of 0.062 in Shoal Bay in northern NSW, which carries a maximum penalty of $1100 for a first offence.

“It is a good lesson for anyone going boating with friends and thinking of having a drink or two as anyone operating a vessel can be breath tested and must be below the legal limit.

“Always plan ahead when boating. This applies to checking the weather and conditions, the state of your boat and also working out who will be driving for all parts of the trip.”

Mr Mitchell said random safety inspections carried out during the campaign resulted in 69 penalty notices and 53 formal warnings being issued.

“There was an overall compliance rate of 89.93 per cent for the duration of the campaign, which is a 1.19 per cent improvement on last year’s result. More than half of the fines issued related to lifejacket non-compliance with 18 fines for lifejacket wear breaches and a further 20 fines for safety equipment relating to lifejackets,” he said.

For more information on boating safety visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit:  8588 5999


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