Boating Bits

Tournament Skippers Warned to Comply with Safety Standards

NSW Maritime has issued a safety reminder to the 500 skippers expected to converge on Nelson Bay for the Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament this weekend (April 1-3).

Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn said Boating Safety Officers would be on duty throughout the event and would carry out targeted safety compliance checks.

“Maritime Boating Safety Officers will conduct spot safety checks to ensure boaters are licensed, vessels registered, the correct safety equipment is being carried. Speed restrictions will be strictly enforced, along with distance off and maximum passenger numbers,” Dunn said.

“The importance of carrying lifejackets that are the right size for everyone on board and, in serviceable condition, cannot be stressed enough, and on the spot fines apply where this is not the case.”

Dunn said too many boaters have drowned in the past because they haven’t worn a lifejacket.

“Last year a north coast fishing competition resulted in three capsizes in a matter of hours as fishermen raced to get to the best grounds and this weekend the forecast is for fresh winds, especially on Saturday,” he said.

New safety rules in NSW now make it law to wear a lifejacket in a range of heightened risk situations including children under the age of 12, and anyone boating alone, or at night in a boat less than 4.8m; and for everyone on board a boat less than 4.8m when offshore.

Dunn encouraged skippers attending the tournament this weekend to plan and prepare.

“This includes checking the weather, ensuring the boat is suitable for the conditions and checking that all necessary safety equipment is on board and of course that includes lifejackets,” he said. “Equipment like flares and inflatable lifejackets must also not be out of date.”

Skippers heading offshore are advised to use VHF marine radios to log on and off with Marine Rescue NSW and leave basic voyage details, including time of return.

NSW Maritime will also attend the event with a Safe Boating display at the host venue, d’Albora Marina, Port Stephens.

For more information on lifejackets go to:

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