A statewide waterway compliance blitz has found a that a large number of boaters are failing to carry and wear a lifejacket as requuried.
Operation ‘Are You Boat Ready – Plan, Prepare, Predict’ kicked off the boating over the long weekend with more than 1,900 vessel checks resulting in 66 fines and 172 official cautions.
‘We want everyone to have a great time on the water, we ask whether you’re on a boat, kayak or jetski always plan, prepare, and predict what could happen before you set out,’ Darren Wood, Acting Executive Director of NSW Maritime said.
Areas with the highest number of offences over the long weekend were the southern Shoalhaven including Jervis Bay and Sussex Inlet (11 per cent), Albury (10 per cent), and Lake Macquarie (9 per cent).
‘The top three offences were a lack of carrying or wearing a suitable lifejacket representing 34 per cent of infringements, licensing and registration made up 27 per cent, and inadequate safety equipment came in at 22 per cent,’ Mr Wood said.
[Of the 13 people who died on New South Wales waterways in the last 12 months, ten were not wearing a lifejacket.
‘A lifejacket keeps you afloat and makes it easier for responders to spot and save you. Wearing one is simple, inexpensive, and incredibly effective. It’s also the law.
‘NSW Maritime data shows 83 lives might have been saved in recreational boating incidents in the 10 years to March 2022 if those people had been wearing a lifejacket.’
NSW Maritime Boating Education Officers engaged with more than 1700 customers statewide over the weekend, providing information and advice on life jacket servicing and best practice on the water.
Operation ‘Are You Boat Ready’ coincided with the start of National Safe Boating Week (1-7 October).
For more information on boating safety, go to: lifejacketwearit.com.au