NSW Water Police have stopped nearly 500 vessels during a two-day marine compliance operation ahead of the peak boating season.
Officers from the Marine Area Command conducted a high-visibility proactive operation on Saturday (September 29) and Sunday (September 30), targeting vessel safety, safe navigation, speeding, alcohol and drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
During the operation, police conducted more than 470 marine random breath tests and six marine mobile drug tests, on top of more than 480 vessel checks with 13 boating infringement notices issued.
Infringement notices were issued for:
- Not wearing life jackets;
- Not carrying life jackets on board;
- Unregistered vessels and no vessel registration labels;
- General safety equipment breaches.
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Rock fishing lifejacket enforcement patrols were also conducted with one infringement notice issued.
The operation also included fisheries checks and boat ramp, wharf and marina patrols.
Marine Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings says further operations will be conducted.
“This is the first marine enforcement operation conducted this boating season and we targeted waterways across the state, including Sydney Harbour, Port Stephens, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Batemans Bay, Eden, and Broken Bay,” he says.
“Police will continue to ensure everyone is safe this boating season.
“One of the most important messages to all water users is to wear a life jacket; it will save your life,” Det Supt Hutchings says.
The Police operation comes at the start of the boating season with those dropping an anchor during the warmer months ahead asked to follow a few simple steps.
“If you are planning to take to the seas, I cannot stress how important it is to log your trip and the time you are expected to return with Marine Rescue NSW, and ensure you have a lifejacket for everyone on board,” says Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos adds, “simple steps could save lives on the water.”
“Take the time now to carry out essential maintenance on your boat and safety equipment, including your lifejacket and marine radio,” he says
“Check the conditions before you head out and Log On and Log Off with your local Marine Rescue NSW unit.
“Tell us where you’re heading, how many people are on board, your contact details and when you’re due back. We’ll keep watch and if you don’t return as scheduled, we can quickly organise a search,” Commissioner Tannos says.
For further information about the rules and regulations of boating in New South Wales, check the Roads and Maritime website.
Original Article published by Ian Campbell on About Regional.