Operation Safe Skippers campaign carried out

NSW Maritime checking boat safety

NSW Maritime was out on the water in Lake Macquarie and Tuggerah Lakes over the weekend of January 9 and 10 for its Operation Safe Skippers campaign, with a focus on new boat owners and skippers.

NSW Maritime conducted 142 safety checks on Lake Macquarie resulting in 15 compliance actions.

The main issues were vessels not maintaining a safe distance from other vessels, not complying with speed zone, not carrying correct safety equipment, not replacing expired safety equipment and unregistered vessel.

There were 70 inspections on Tuggerah Lakes with five penalty notices issued and six official cautions.

A spokesperson for NSW Maritime said that there had been a significant rise in the issue of boat licences, jet skis and boat registrations during the past 12 months, most likely because of COVID-19.

“Although ensuring compliance among boaters is our main aim, last weekend’s campaign was to focus on providing support and offering guidance for anyone new to boating.

“Our boating safety officers, who are out on waterways every day, report regularly on new skippers needing assistance in regard to rules and on-board equipment.

“Anecdotally, we’re seeing new boaters without the proper equipment, unaware of the effect that wash has on other boaters and kayakers, speed zones, rules of towing donuts and kneeboard riders and much more.”

Sue Murray