Lifejackets can save lives

5 October 2012

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) today issued an urgent reminder to boaters that lifejackets can save lives.

“Rescuers late yesterday afternoon found the body of a 24 year old woman who had been canoeing on the upper Murray River when her canoe overturned on Tuesday,” RMS Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams said.

“It is believed she had been wearing a lifejacket at the time.

“This tragic incident brings to eight the number of boating fatalities in NSW since mid-September.

“It comes after the recent tragic death of a 13 year old boy who had been boating last weekend with a 14 year old friend in an inflatable dinghy on Lake Liddell in the Hunter region.

“Although an investigation into the incident is under way, reports indicate neither boy was wearing a lifejacket.

“These tragedies on our waterways highlight the importance of safety when boating and the importance of wearing an appropriate lifejacket, especially in small craft.

“Lifejacket laws changed in 2010 requiring lifejackets to be worn more often when out on the water – especially when boating alone or in small craft.

“With sunny days and great weather in most parts of the state, anyone going boating needs to be aware water temperatures remain low at this time of year which can shorten survival times,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams said the October long weekend marked the official start of the 2012-13 boating season.

There were 19 boating fatalities in the 2011-12 financial year. Since mid-September there have been eight fatalities, compared with four in the same period last year.

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