Today is the official start of the boating season and the start of National Safe Boating Week, with record numbers of boaters anticipated to hit the state’s waterways once current COVID-19 restrictions on boating and travel have eased.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said that National Safe Boating Week was the perfect time for boaters to get themselves and their craft ready for the expected busy summer ahead.
“As the weather warms and boating restrictions ease, we’re expecting people to flock to the coast and our inland rivers and lakes, and we want everyone to have an enjoyable time and return home safely.”
“A few simple precautions taken now can make a big difference in ensuring everyone has a safer and more enjoyable day on our waterways.”
Commissioner Tannos said that around two thirds of the emergency calls to Marine Rescue were due to problems with a boat’s fuel, engine or battery.
“Check your engine and battery are in good repair, that you have the required safety equipment on board and a full tank of fuel.”
“Most important of all, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket and you are Logged On with Marine Rescue NSW on VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue NSW App.
“This free service gives you the peace of mind from knowing our volunteers are watching out for your safe return and if you don’t Log Off as planned, we will start searching for you.”
Marine Rescue Deputy Commander Alex Barrell said that Marine Rescue volunteers across the state were well prepared for the expected increase in rescues as boating opens up.
“Our members have trained hard over the winter break for the anticipated surge in people requiring assistance.”
“Coupled with a recent upgrade to our radio communications and the delivery of additional state of the art rescue vessels, we’re confident our 45 units and 3,200 volunteer members are ‘rescue ready’ for the busy season ahead.”