Maritime Services pushes safer boating with new campaign

by RMS 
. .
NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams announced on Friday the agency’s plan to conduct a campaign that would ensure compliance with boating activities on New South Wales waterways.

'The campaign involves RMS Boating Safety Officers (BSO) conducting random checks of vessels to ensure the boating community is properly informed about towing requirements and the dangers of propeller strike,' Mr Williams said.

'Those involved in towing sports like water-skiing and wakeboarding need to know of the risks associated with boat propellers.

'Since November 2011 there have been nine towing related incidents resulting in one fatality, seven serious injuries and one minor injury.

'There have also been five propeller strike incidents resulting in one fatality and four serious injuries.

'Vessel operators also need to remember it is against the law to tow between sunset and sunrise.

'They also need to be aware of safety risks to small craft when towing in high volume waterways and to always keep to the right.

'BSOs will also be ensuring compliance with lifejacket, licence and safety equipment requirements.

'It is crucial to remember when towing on the water there must always be an observer in the boat in addition to the person driving.

'Those being towed must wear a lifejacket at all times and it is illegal to tow more than three people at a time.

'The bottom line is skippers are responsible for the safety of their boat, all on board and the people being towed,' Mr Williams said.

The campaign continues until Friday 25 January.