From the Newsroom

Boaties warned about Easter Holiday Maritime blitz

Visitors and Clarence Valley locals are being reminded to take care on the water this Easter holiday break with NSW Maritime launching the ‘Don’t rock the boat this Easter’ blitz over the holiday period.

NSW Maritime Principal Manager Shane Davey said Operation Don’t Rock the Boat is about encouraging good judgement on the water as Maritime prepares for some of their busiest weeks over the Easter and ANZAC Day public holidays.

Mr Davey said over a two-day campaign prior to Easter, NSW Maritime officers carried out almost a thousand vessel safety checks, resulting in more than 110 official cautions and 16 fines.

“There have been far too many near-misses this year, and as we see a surge in people heading out on the water in the next couple of weeks it’s vital boaters make safe choices to avoid preventable incidents,” he said.

“Despite the weather being poor, plenty of people were out on the water over the weekend, and in Sydney we saw two incidents that thankfully, didn’t end in fatalities.

“Fortunately, in both incidents everyone was wearing lifejackets, and no one was injured.

“It’s a timely reminder that excess wash can be dangerous, especially to smaller vessels.”

Mr Davey said the Easter School Holidays was one of the busiest times on our waterways.

“Don’t let your good day on the water ruin someone else’s,” he said.

“The type of wave we want to see is a courtesy wave of the hand, not a massive wave in your wake when passing someone else.

“Watch your wash as it might be having a negative impact on others.

“Slow down, take a look at your surroundings and use common sense.

“Even if you’re travelling at the speed limit shown on a sign, you can still create excessive wash.

“We’ve seen a concerning 24 capsizing’s this boating season, and most could have been avoided.”

Mr Davey said there have been seven fatalities and 250 on water incidents so for this boating season.

“I can’t stress enough, simple checks can help keep you and your family safe this Easter holiday break,” he said.

A key message of Operation Don’t Rock the Boat was to remind boaters of their responsibilities on the water, and to check vessels and safety gear, keep an eye on weather and have a Plan B in place to head somewhere sheltered if conditions get rough.

For more information on boating safety and wash rules visit https://nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/waterways-safety-and-rules/rules/wash