NEWS - New patrol boat for the Illawarra

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Waterway-safety primary purpose of new patrol boat

NEWS - New patrol boat for the Illawarra
NEWS — New patrol boat for the Illawarra

NSW Minister for the Illawarra, and Ports and Waterways, Paul McLeay, and the Member for Wollongong, Noreen Hay, last week unveiled a new patrol boat for the Illawarra community.

"The Keneally Government is serious about safety on our waters and this patrol boat is an important step," said McLeay.

"With the huge popularity of boating activities like fishing, waterskiing and sailing for Illawarra families, it is essential the region has the best equipment to stay vigilant when it comes to safety on local waters.

"There were 35 boating incidents in local waters over the past year — seven of which resulted in fatalities.

"The new craft will be used for a range of activities including on-water safety checks, education campaigns, and managing traffic during big events on the waterways.

"The added patrol resources will go a long way to raising the bar of marine safety for Illawarra families, and increase community awareness of best safety practice, so we can minimise the reoccurrence of tragedies like these," McLeay said.

"In the lead-up to the next boating season it was important to remind boaters about safety," said Hay.

"Common marine safety concerns in the region include issues around lifejacket use, inadequate safety equipment, speeding, not keeping a proper lookout, and incorrect navigation lights.

"There are also risks associated with towing skiers and wakeboarders.

"The new patrol boat will be based at Port Kembla and will be an invaluable safety asset to the Illawarra.

"Combined with the Keneally Government’s recently introduced lifejacket reforms, which come in to effect on November 1, this welcome addition to the boating community will go a long way towards keeping our fine waters safe for local families," she said.

The new boat will be used for offshore patrols up to 15nm off the coast from Stanwell Park to Gerroa. It will also cover the inland areas of Lake Illawarra, Port Kembla and the Minnamurra River.

Photo: Paul McLeay and Noreen Hay aboard the new Illawarra patrol boat.


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