Skippers reminded statewide boating compliance operation starts tomorrow

13 NOVEMBER 2015

Roads and Maritime Services is reminding skippers heading out on waterways tomorrow to be aware of their key responsibilities in keeping themselves and others safe on the water as the second statewide boating safety campaign starts.

Roads and Maritime Director Maritime Angus Mitchell said Operation Boatsafe: You’re the Skipper, You’re Responsible will continue until sundown on Sunday 15 November.

“There were 282 reported boating incidents on NSW waterways last year, with key contributing factors to incidents identified including poor judgement, alcohol and excessive speed,” Mr Mitchell said.

“In the first seven days of this nine day operation, Boating Education Officers have been providing boaters with safety information at key waterside locations. “Tomorrow we ramp up our compliance operations with Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) out on the water conducting random inspections of vessels to check the operator is compliant with safety requirements.

“Boat operators, or skippers, need to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities around the safety of their vessel and the people on board to reduce the risk of incidents.

“Skippers need to continually observe maritime regulations and safety requirements.

“Before heading out, skippers must ensure it is safe to do so and the vessel has all the required safety equipment on board, including the appropriate navigational lights at night.”

“On-the-spot fines will apply to those found to be in breach of maritime law.

“Lifejackets must be worn in vessels smaller than 4.8 metres when boating offshore, on alpine waters, at night or when along and at all time by people younger than 12.

“Lifejackets must be in good condition and must be accessible and 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.

“Wear a lifejacket – don’t risk your life, especially in small boats.”

For more information on skipper responsibilities and boating safety, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime

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