by NSW Maritime
A recent statewide safety campaign by NSW Maritime identified non-compliance with lifejacket requirements as the most common offence by boaters in NSW.
Kids life jackets
NSW Maritime General Manager Recreational Boating Brett Moore said more than 1400 vessels on waterways all over NSW were checked by NSW Maritime Boating Officers during the month-long campaign.
'NSW Maritime Boating Officers conducted three times the number of checks in this campaign when compared with a similar effort 12 months ago,' Mr Moore said.
Overall, 90 per cent of boaters were found to comply with boating safety requirements. This represents a small, though encouraging 4 per cent improvement on last year.
'Lifejacket compliance remains a concern with more than 17 per cent of all infringements being attributed to failure to meet lifejacket requirements,' he said.
'Basically, a lifejacket must be on board for every person and must be in serviceable condition and handy, ready for use at any time.'
Mr Moore said it was compulsory to carry enough lifejackets for each person on board. Lifejackets are also compulsory to wear when crossing ocean bars or when riding a jetski.
'NSW Maritime also recommends lifejackets be worn at times of heightened risk. That means lifejackets should also be worn by children and poor swimmers when in open areas of a boat where it is possible to fall directly overboard,' he said.
'Lifejackets should also be worn when boating alone, at night or when there is an increased chance of capsize or swamping. The risk of falling overboard may be small, such incidents can be life threatening.'
In total, NSW Maritime Boating Officers issued 69 penalty notices, or fines, and 74 written warnings during the statewide campaign.
Total vessels checked were as follows:
· North Region 189
· Hunter/ Inland 276
· Hawkesbury/ Broken Bay 159
· Sydney (including Botany Bay/ Port Hacking) 312
· South Coast 298
· Murray/ Inland 203.