NSW Maritime out in force this Easter


Operation Safe Speed to target speeding boaters

NSW Maritime has announced that it intends to crack down on speeding boaters this Easter long weekend.

NSW Maritime chief executive, Steve Dunn, said it was important boaters had an enjoyable and safe Easter and operated at a "safe speed for the conditions" which, he said, is a key part of every skipper’s responsibility.

"Easter traditionally heralds the end of the boating season and it is a popular time for people to head out for a last boat trip before winter sets in. This year we are expecting it to be especially busy with a rare five-day holiday period," Dunn said.

"It’s also a later Easter which brings colder than normal conditions so NSW Maritime boating safety officers will be out in force talking to boaters on rivers, lakes, bays and harbours."

Dunn said from the start of the boating season to the end of March there were seven serious, speed-related boating incidents in NSW resulting in one fatality and two serious injuries.

"We’re reminding people that speeding on the water can have the same result as speeding on the road — it can kill," Dunn said.

"But where speed limits are signposted on all roads and there are some local speed limits on our waterways, the general rule for skippers is they must keep to a speed that is safe for the conditions. This means the skipper must be constantly aware of the conditions on the water including visibility, hazards to navigation and the impact on other boats especially from wake.

"Every skipper must understand the limits of the vessel and take responsibility for adjusting speed to suit the conditions and the environment. If in doubt, slow down."

Dunn said NSW Maritime would also be keeping a close eye on boat wash.

"When in a ‘no wash zone’ stay at walking speed and look behind the boat to see whether you’re affecting other boats, as well as jetties, pontoons and the river bank environment," he said.

Dunn said the spot fines of up to $500 can be issued for excessive wash and speed.

Visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au for more information.

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