Safety checks key this boating season

 

BOATERS are being urged to check their vessels and safety equipment before heading out on the water this month, because many have been sitting idle during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the October long weekend is the official launch of the Boating Season, with Transport for NSW expecting this to be our biggest season ever.

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“Whether you’re fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding or water skiing this long weekend, please make sure you follow the rules to ensure a day out on the water doesn’t end in tragedy,” Mr Constance said.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people applying for new boating licenses over the last year, so if you’re thinking of buying a second hand boat be sure to check it over properly.

“Lifejackets are the most important safety equipment on any recreational vessel.

“In NSW you must service inflatable lifejackets once a year or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to check them every time before you get on the water.”

In areas subject to stay-at-home orders, including Greater Sydney and some regional areas, rules relating to outdoor gatherings apply for boating activities.

There were 17 boating related fatalities on NSW waterways in the year to 30 June 2021. 131 lives have been lost during recreational boating incidents over the 10 years to June 2020.

Tragically, 79 of those lives might have been saved had all people presumed drowned been wearing a life jacket.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said with around two thirds of all calls to Marine Rescue relating to problems with engines, batteries and fuel, now is the time to get your vessel ready for the boating season.

“Simple things such as changing the fuel, oil and oil filter, checking the engine, gearbox and propeller; charging the battery, testing the electronics and making sure you have the required safety equipment can mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable day on the water and a potentially life threatening situation,” Mr Tannos said.

For more information about boating safety or to view the boating safety checklist please visit www.nsw.gov.au/topics/waterways-safety-and-rules/lifejackets-and-safety-equipment/equipment-checklist

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