More frontline educators to help with boating safety in NSW

15 July 2015

After a successful 18 month trial, Roads and Maritime Services has confirmed 13 frontline positions will be created to help with education and safety at key boating hot spots in NSW.

Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell said the decision was made after the trial of Boating Education Officers (BEOs) based in Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Port Stephens, Newcastle, West Gosford, Rozelle, Sydney, Sutherland, Port Kembla, Batemans Bay and Albury.

“Feedback and data collected about the education process was so successful the positions will now be made permanent,” Mr Mitchell said.

“A roving Boating Education Officer (BEO) position will also be permanently created to provide extra support in raising boating safety awareness and safety information to the public from the shore.

“Research has shown increasing education for the boating public is one of the most effective ways of reducing boating fatalities.

“BEOs provide key support to Roads and Maritime Boating Safety Officers who traditionally have been tasked with the majority of the frontline boating and safety education role.

“From July last year to the end of last month, BEOs interacted with 39,963 members of the boating public and visited 206 schools to talk about boating safety.

“This has increased the number of school visits by 10 times than the previous year, a valuable increase in our ability to reach entry level boaters to provide them with the skills and knowledge to enable them to be safe and responsible boaters from an early age.

“BEOs also made 3,070 visits to boat ramps, engaged 1,248 retail outlets and 563 sailing, boating clubs and marinas to provide information and key safety messages, and represented Roads and Maritime at 211 boat shows or community field days.

“BEOs will be on hand for the duration of the Sydney International Boat Show which starts later this month, providing advice to attendees as official boating safety representatives of the NSW Government,” Mr Mitchell 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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