Two people injured in NSW skiboat accident

NSW Minister warns skippers to be cautious

NSW Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay has called on skippers who tow skis, wakeboards and inflatable tubes to take extra care, following a serious incident at Nowra on Sunday.

Mr McLeay said a 12 year old boy was in a serious but stable condition in Randwick Hospital and another boy was in a stable condition in the Shoalhaven Hospital after both were involved in a boating incident near Greys Beach, just upstream of the Nowra bridge.

"NSW Maritime and police are still putting together the details but it appears the incident involved two skiboats, one of which was towing the boys on an inflatable tube," McLeay said.

"An investigation is underway to determine just what went wrong but the accident does highlight the need for all skippers to take care and in particular to observe the safe distance off rules."

McLeay said NSW Maritime figures show an average of 26 tow-related incidents occur statewide each year.

"In 94 per cent of these incidents someone is injured, while 47 per cent of people involved suffer serious injuries," McLeay said.

"Even more alarmingly, three per cent of accidents result in a fatality.

"NSW Maritime is particularly concerned about the use of inflatable tubes that have become increasingly popular over recent years.

"These inflatables have no method of steering so in a turning manoeuvre the boat and tow line can act like a slingshot, sending the towed device and the person on board on a short but uncontrollable ride."

McLeay said skippers should observe the following tow-sport safety tips:

• The skipper is responsible for the safety of their boat, all on board, and the person being towed.

• Any device being towed must be kept at least 30m clear of other boats, the shore and structures.

• The boat and the device being towed must be kept at least 60m clear of swimmers.

• The tow boat must carry an observer who must keep watch over the people being towed at all times.

• Tow ropes must be at least seven metres long.

• No more than three people can be towed at the same time.

• The skipper, observer and person towed must keep under the 0.05 alcohol limit.

• The skipper must always keep a proper lookout.

McLeay said NSW Maritime is supporting a tow sports safety campaign as part of its promotion of a safe boating culture. Visit, or go to for additional information on towing safety.


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