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Boaters behaving better on the water

by Leigh Wannan 23 Jan 2019 06:50 UTC
Maritime boat - Annual Water Safety Campaign by Roads and Maritime Services © Leigh Wannan

It has been mostly smooth sailing for boating enthusiasts during an annual water safety campaign run by Roads and Maritime Services.

Boating Safety Officers inspected 1875 vessels during Operation Safer Waters: You're the Skipper, You're Responsible and found nearly 90 per cent of boaters to be compliant with water safety regulations.

Executive Director NSW Maritime Angus Mitchell said the operation started on Saturday 12 January with a week-long education component and finished on Sunday 20 January following a weekend-long compliance blitz.

"It was pleasing to see that during the operation nearly all boaters were wearing lifejackets and were compliant with safety regulations," Mr Mitchell said.

"The high compliance rate demonstrates how our safety messages are getting through to boaters.

"These types of operations are conducted regularly to make sure people are enjoying their time on the water without having to fear for their personal safety."

Mr Mitchell said while the compliance rate among boaters was high, there are still some reckless people on the water who are putting themselves and others at risk.

"NSW has some of the most beautiful waterways in the country and we want people to enjoy their time on the water but we want them to do so safely," Mr Mitchell said.

"Every person who takes to the water without a lifejacket, without proper safety equipment or over the alcohol limit is putting themselves at an unnecessary risk.

"Even one person caught without their lifejacket on or over the legal limit is one too many there is no excuse."

During the operation, Boating Safety Officers and Boating Education Officers along with NSW Police Marine Area Command carried out the following actions:

  • Inspected 1574 recreational vessels, 295 personal water craft and six commercial vessels
  • Found 89 per cent of boaters to be compliant
  • Issued 73 penalty noticed for a variety of offences
  • Conducted 146 random breath tests, with two people found to be over the limit.
For more information about boating safety, visit:

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