Tow safe this summer on NSW waterways

Tow safe this summer on NSW waterways

3 January 2014

With the season for water skiing and other on-water towing activities reaching its peak, Operation Tow Safe will kick off across NSW waterways tomorrow to remind boaters about safe towing.

Roads and Maritime Services will run the two-week campaign from Saturday 4 to Sunday 12 January to ensure boaters are complying with maritime safety regulations.

“Water skiing, wakeboarding and towing recreational inflatables increase in popularity each summer, so we need to make sure people are following the law and enjoying themselves responsibly,” a Roads and Maritimes Services spokesperson said.

“We’ll be focusing on making sure people are using the right lifejackets, both in the boat and being towed, and that the right safety equipment is on board.

“Roads and Maritime Boating Safety Officers (BSO’s) will randomly inspect boating licences and remind users of towing laws. We’ll have a zero tolerance approach when it comes to lifejacket laws.”

Roads and Maritime records show in the five years to 2014 there were 56 reported towing related incidents resulting in eight fatalities.

“Targeted campaigns such as Operation Tow Safe are about bringing these figures down and helping people enjoy the water safely.”

Boaters are reminded water levels change all the time and it is the responsibility of the skipper of the boat to ensure conditions are safe when planning a trip.

“It’s crucial for people who want to carry out towing activities such as waterskiing and wakeboarding to ensure water levels are safe to do so,” the spokesperson said.

“If you’re being towed, the skipper of the boat, or just there watching, you should know all the hand signals and have a clear understanding of what they mean before any towing starts.

“Operation Tow Safe also focuses on the dangers of petrol engines on board. To prevent vessel fires, boaters should check for any leaks or fuel spills once refueled, and ensure there is plenty of ventilation before restarting the engine,” the spokesperson said.

“Boaters are advised to carry a complete first aid kit aboard, appropriate to the size of the boat.”

For more information on maritime safety visit

CONTACT:  Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit   8588 5999

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