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Cross border operation targeting dangerous boating behaviour

by Leigh Wannan 8 Mar 2019 05:46 UTC
Maritime boat © Leigh Wannan

NSW and Victoria maritime authorities are joining forces this weekend to remind boaters, no matter where you come from, safety is the most important part of your day on the water.

Roads and Maritime Services Executive Director Maritime Angus Mitchell said whether you're from NSW or Victoria it is important to wear a lifejacket, obey waterway rules and be courteous to others.

"Boating Safety and Boating Education Officers will be out in force on the Murray River, Murrumbidgee River, Alpine and Far South Coast waterways from Saturday 9 March to Monday 11 March 2019," Mr Mitchell said.

"But no matter where you come from, the simple fact remains the same, lifejackets save lives.

"Remember: Look after your lifejacket and it will look after you.

"We want everyone to enjoy themselves on the water without fearing for their personal safety.

"We make no apologies for enforcing rules in order to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our waterways."

Mr Mitchell said the operation coincides with the Victorian Labour Day long-weekend during which there is an expected influx of Victorian boaters on NSW waterways.

"This is an important joint patrol with Maritime Safety Victoria's compliance and investigations officers to accompany NSW Boating Safety Officers, and address the high number of boating incidents involving Victorian boaters in NSW waters," Mr Mitchell said.

"A major focus of the operation will be reminding boaters that NSW boat rules apply along the full length of the Murray River and educating boaters on the rules which differ between the two states.

"While there are some differences between laws, in both states safety equipment must be carried on board, vessels must travel at a safe speed, keep a safe distance from other boaters and observe all sign-posted speed limits.

"One important difference in the boating safety legislation relates to the operation of personal watercraft (PWC), such as jetskis. In NSW the driver of a PWC must hold a PWC licence, while in Victoria an unlicensed person may drive the PWC but only if a person over 18 years of age holding a boat licence with a PWC endorsement is on board and in a position to take immediate control."

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