The results from the long weekend’s statewide boating safety operation are in and while the majority of boaters were found to be operating safely, there was an overrepresentation of incorrect use of night lights.
Roads and Maritime Services executive director Maritime Angus Mitchell said in total, despite a long weekend which was marked by poor weather conditions across much of NSW, 1696 safety checks were carried out.
“The compliance rate was generally good, with only 56 penalty notices or fines and 66 official cautions issued,” Mr Mitchell said.
“The majority of these were for breaches of lifejacket or other safety equipment legislation.
“Safe boating rules exist to keep everyone on the water safe. If you’re found to be flouting these rules, you can expect to be fined.
“On Sunday night at Pindari Dam alone, the Tamworth Boating Safety Officer directed six vessels back to shore for displaying missing or incorrect lights.
“When night falls, it’s a completely different world on the water and so vessels operating from sunset to sunrise, whether at anchor or underway, must carry and exhibit the correct lights.
“At night, every type of craft on the water needs lights in order to be seen. Whether you’re paddling, rowing, sailing or motoring, everyone needs to be able to recognise where you are and what you’re doing.
“Vessel lights should be mounted in a position which gives you optimum night vision and allows others to see you from every direction.
“A working waterproof floating torch must also be carried to shine on sails or superstructure when other vessels are encountered.
Mr Mitchell said while there was generally good behaviour on NSW waterways during the long weekend, a few common issues arose.
“Boaters are reminded lifejackets must be worn at night, and must be easily accessible - and definitely not in their plastic wrapping - at all times in the case of an emergency,” Mr Mitchell said.
“And if you’re borrowing a vessel from a friend, be sure to check the boat before you head out and ensure all the correct safety equipment is on board – this includes double checking the expiration date on flares.”
For information on boating safety and night lighting requirements visit http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/safety-rules/rules-regulations/night-safety.html