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Boaters behaving better at the tail end of boating season

by Leigh Wannan 25 Apr 2019 02:17 UTC
Boaters behaving better at the tail end of boating season © Leigh Wannan

More than 90 per cent of NSW boaters were found to be complying with maritime safety regulations, including travelling at safe speed and wearing a lifejacket during Operation Take Care, Be Aware, the Easter long-weekend water safety campaign.

Roads and Maritime Services Acting Executive Director Maritime Mark Hutchings said the high compliance rate demonstrates that the majority of boaters are doing the right thing.

"The safety awareness operation took place over the Easter long-weekend which marks the end of the traditional boating season and focused on ensuring skippers were keeping a proper lookout and passengers were kept safe," Mr Hutchings said.

"Throughout the operation it was pleasing to see more than 90 per cent of all boaters complying with waterways rules including the requirements to wear a lifejacket and travel at a safe speed.

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

Mr Hutchings 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.

"While there is still a small minority out there not complying with rules including speeding and not wearing a lifejacket, it is pleasing to see the vast majority followed the rules," he said.

"Boating safety regulations are there to keep everyone safe, and those who choose not to obey the rules are putting themselves and others at unnecessary risk.

"Even one person caught without their lifejacket, not keeping a proper lookout, speeding, or over the legal limit is one too many there is no excuse."

This operation supports the outcomes of the NSW Government's Maritime Safety Plan 2021 to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the state's waterways.

During the operation, NSW Maritime Boating Safety and Boating Education Officers:

  • Inspected 1,935 recreational vessels, and 371 personal watercraft
  • Found more than 90 per cent of boaters to be compliant
  • Issued 68 penalty notices for a variety of offences
For more information about boating safety, visit

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