Australia Day boating warning in Sydney Harbour


Speed limits and special exclusion zones apply

NSW Maritime chief executive Steve Dunn today said plans and preparations are in place to manage an estimated 2000 spectator boats on Sydney Harbour for Australia Day.

Dunn said safety was the number one priority.

"Australia Day is one of the busiest days on the harbour with drawcard events such as the Ferrython, F/A-18 Hornet fly-over, and the Sydney Ports Jazz on the Water Concert planned," he said.

"During big aquatic events, NSW Maritime has the role of enforcing special event traffic management measures on the water such as a maximum six-knot speed limit, no wash areas and exclusion zones, marked by yellow buoys.

"It is essential for all skippers to observe boating safety guidelines such as keeping a proper lookout and maintaining a safe speed.

"Small craft should remain in calm waters, keeping well clear of larger craft, exclusion zones and congested areas."

Skippers must observe exclusion zones for Australia Day on Sydney Harbour:

· Within 50m of the ferries in the Ferrython between 11am and 12pm

· In Farm Cove for the Great Australian Swim Series from 8am to 10.30am

· In Farm Cove for the 21 Gun Salute from 11.30am to 12.30pm

· Within 50m of Tall Ships in the Tall Ships Parade from 1pm to 2pm

· In Farm Cove for the for the Red Berets Parachute Drop from 2.15pm to 2.45pm

· Within 60m of HMAS Ballarat moored at Navy buoy 3 near Clark Island.

Dunn said the 0.05 blood alcohol limit applied for anyone in charge of a moving vessel.

"Remember that wind, waves and sun can increase the effects of alcohol and that random breath testing is carried out on the water," he said.

"Operators of charter vessels also have the right to refuse intoxicated passengers from boarding."

Skippers should also be mindful of new lifejacket rules that now apply on NSW waterways, depending on the size of your craft and the ages of passengers on board.

Visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au for more information on navigation restrictions.

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