Boaters encouraged to continue safe behaviour ahead of Easter long weekend

31 March 2015

Boaters are reminded safety remains the highest priority across all NSW waterways during Easter with skippers urged to take extra care in the last weekend of the boating season.

Roads and Maritime Services Director Maritime Angus Mitchell said the Easter long weekend is traditionally a busy time for boating and skippers should ensure they keep to a safe speed, maintain a proper lookout and obey rules around alcohol consumption and lifejacket use.

“During the latest statewide safety education and compliance campaign, Operation Slow Down from March 14 to 22, Roads and Maritime carried out close to 1000 on-water safety checks,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Boating Safety Officers carried out 969 on-water vessel safety checks and Boating Education Officers reminded 331 other boaters at waterside locations including boat ramps and clubs and reminded skippers of their repsonsibility to keep to a safe speed for the conditions and to keep a proper lookout.

“During the campaign 49 fines were issued for boating offences, including nine for speeding breaches and 18 warnings for speeding related offences.

“Where there are no signposted speed limits on a waterway, a vessel must be driven at a speed which is safe and takes into account environmental factors such as local traffic, visibilty and conditions.

“A vessel should not be operated any faster than the speed at which it could be safely stopped, given the operating conditions.

“We want to prevent speed-related incidents wherever possible. In the past five years there were 50 reported incidents in which excessive speed was nominated as a contributing factor.”

Mr Mitchell said during Operation Slow Down, a further 15 fines were issued to people not wearing a lifejacket when required by law and 12 fines were issued to people who were not carrying the required number of lifejackets on board.

“There is still some work to do in reminding boaters about the importance of lifejackets – the most important safety item on any boat,” he said.

“Zero tolerance apples for non-compliance with lifejacket laws in NSW. All boaters should be aware of these requirements which are there to keep everyone safe.” 

For more information on boating safety visit Safety and rules.

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit:  8588 5999

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