Boaters urged to "stay dry" on water

9 February 2020

Boaters around NSW are reminded the blood alcohol limit on the water is the same as on the road – 0.05 – after a Victorian man was arrested overnight on the Murray River.

NSW Maritime and NSW Police were carrying out a night patrol on Saturday near Moama, where large numbers of boaters are enjoying the river as part of the Southern 80 ski race event.

At about 8pm officers intercepted a boat which contained four adult males and a four year old child, and which was also towing a male skier.

Boating Safety Officers found the boat’s driver appeared to be intoxicated and after he returned a positive breath test, the 30 year old Victorian man was arrested by police. He was taken to Moama Police Station, where he underwent a breath analysis, returning an alleged reading of 0.168. The man was issued with a Court Attendance Notice for high-range PCA and his boat licence was suspended.

NSW Maritime General Manager Operations Alex Barrell said the skipper had been a significant risk to those on board the vessel and to other river users.

“At the time many other craft were on the river, including other vessels towing skiers, people using Personal Water Craft (PWC) and those aboard houseboats,” Mr Barrell said.

“Boaters are reminded skippers are subject to random breath tests for the safety of everyone on the water.”

Murray River Police District's Inspector Paul Huggett said police are out and about with NSW Maritime patrolling all waterways and interacting with river users over the summer months.

"We want to ensure that the river is safe for all users and any skipper or observer found to be intoxicated or in any way impaired will be charged," Inspector Huggett said.

Mr Barrell said operators of vessels are subject to heavy penalties if found to be over the limit, and this includes the observer in a vessel which is towing people as well as anyone being towed.

“The limit on the water is 0.05, the same as on the road, or zero alcohol for those under 18.”

For more information visit Maritime.

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