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Boaters in NSW gear up for the boating season

by Transport for NSW on 4 Oct 2013
A Boating Safety Officer carries out an on water check. NSW Maritime
The traditional start of the boating season kicks off with the arrival of the October long weekend. Holiday time, the warmer weather and the daylight saving hours that begin from early Sunday morning all support increased boating activity.

And with the added buzz of the International Fleet Review taking place in Sydney Harbour, General Manager of the Maritime Management Centre Howard Glenn urged boaters across the state to take all necessary safety precautions before they get out on the water.

'For many people, their next boating trip will be their first in months, so it?s important to check all the necessary safety gear is still on board, and that the boat and its equipment are in good working order,' Mr Glenn said.

'The 50 Point Safety Check is an easy and reliable option for boaters as it?s provided by trade qualified members of the Marine Industry Mechanical Repairers Association.

'Anyone wanting a fresh set of professional eyes to look over everything should visit 50pointcheck.com.au for more information,' Mr Glenn said.

The arrival of the new season also means that Boating Safety Officers will be out in force and will be cracking down on all boaters not complying with lifejacket rules, Mr Glenn said.

'If you?re in a small boat (under 4.8 metres long), you must wear a lifejacket when off-shore, at night, or when you?re alone; and children under 12 have to wear one at all times,' Mr Glenn said.

'Our Boating Safety Officers conduct about 50,000 water checks each year and they will be taking a „zero tolerance? approach to anyone not complying with the lifejacket wear requirements.

'Over the past decade, nine out of every 10 people who drown when boating in NSW were not wearing a lifejacket and more often than not they were in a small vessel,' Mr Glenn said.

'Accidents can happen so the best advice for anyone planning a day out on the water in a small craft is to wear a lifejacket.

'New generation lifejackets are affordable, functional and can be worn in comfort for the duration of a typical day out on the water,' Mr Glenn said.

The Maritime Management Centre, within Transport for NSW, is working with Roads and Maritime Services to deliver a range of safety initiatives over the boating season to promote safe and responsible boating, and prevent loss of life and serious injury on NSW waterways.

More at www.transport.nsw.gov.au
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