Long, hot Labour day weekend signals start of busy boating season

Over the weekend NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers conducted around 2750 vessel safety checks.

NSW MARITIME held its first statewide compliance and safety blitz of the boating season over the Labour Day long weekend, spotlighting the need to check vessels and safety equipment, and double-check children’s life jackets before hitting the water.

NSW Maritime Campaign Coordinator Shane Davey said warm weather kept officers busy during ‘Operation Stay Afloat – Prepare to Launch’, the maiden campaign of NSW Maritime’s new season-long safety initiative.

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“The recent jump in temperatures has seen waterways busier than usual for this time of year, and with a long, hot summer predicted it’s a trend we expect to continue.

“While it’s great to see people enjoying the water, the high volume of vessels makes it even more important boaters put safety first,” Mr Davey said.

Over the weekend NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers conducted around 2750 vessel safety checks.

The campaign resulted in 159 fines and 252 official warnings.

“The top three offences across the state were lifejacket non-compliance, representing 26 percent of fines, driving or riding unlicenced or on an unregistered vessel at 24 percent, and failing to carry or maintain safety equipment accounted for sixteen percent.

“We’ve seen a concerning number of child-related lifejacket offences with almost 750 over the last year.

“It’s an offence to be on your boat without a lifejacket if you are alone or with a child under twelve.

“As people head out for family fun on the water, remember if you have kids on board make their safety a priority.

“Check they have a lifejacket, that it’s on, it fits, and you’re wearing one yourself.

“A lifejacket can only save your life if you’re wearing it.

“Even if you’re taking a short trip or the conditions are calm, put it on.

“We’ve seen too many accidents that end in tragedy.”

NSW Maritime data shows there have been 124 boating-related fatalities on NSW waterways in the last 10 years, and 70 of those could have been avoided if they were wearing a lifejacket.

For the latest safety information please go to https://www.lifejacketwearit.com.au/

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