NSW Maritime conduct first statewide compliance blitz of boating season

 

NSW MARITIME was out in force over the weekend in what was the first statewide compliance blitz of the boating season, with Boating Safety Officers urging everyone to take extra caution as we head into a wet summer on our waterways.

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the general compliance blitz was a two-day campaign across the entire state focusing on safety and preparedness in rough conditions and poor weather.

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“We are gearing up for what is expected to be a wetter boating season that will present potentially dangerous conditions for boaters compared to previous years as a result of the effects of La Nina,” Mr Hutchings said.

“Poor weather is associated with up to one in three fatal incidents on our waterways – even in the past 12 months, more than half of fatalities on our waterway involved rough conditions and 80 percent of those were not found to be wearing a lifejacket.

“We’ve also seen an increase in the use of paddle craft but unfortunately in the last 12 months 38 percent of fatalities have involved paddlecraft.

“The most recent only on Thursday.

“For that reason, paddle craft safety was another focus for us over the weekend.

“These are compelling and sobering statistics and serve as reminders to all of us to plan your trip and check the weather before heading out, always wear a life jacket and if in doubt, don’t go out.”

Mr Hutchings said over the weekend more than 60 NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers patrolled a number of popular locations across the state

“Our efforts from the weekend resulted in 59 fines being issued and 128 cautions, with the top three offences relating to not servicing a lifejacket, unregistered vessels and lack of appropriate safety equipment on board,” Mr Hutchings said.

“We had an overall compliance rate of 86.4 percent, which means the majority of people were doing the right thing, however there are still those who were doing the wrong thing and risking their lives.

“We want to remind everyone, even the most seasoned boaters, that weather conditions can change quickly so watch the weather while you’re out – weather is not just about clouds and rain, but about winds, swells and warnings issues as well.”

During the weekend, NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers carried out over 1300 safety checks from as far as the border on the South Coast to border on the North Coast as well as our inland waterways through to the Victorian border.

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