Home' Afloat : AFLOAT October 2017 Contents Take monthly with water October 2017 27
SEASON OFF AND RACING
It’s ‘Anchors up’ as October brings watercraft
of all shapes and sizes appearing in greater
numbers across our waterways. For many,
this is the month most anticipated – that time
to shake off winter and get out on the water.
In NSW, there are now an estimated 2 million
people who go boating at least once a year
and there are more than 500,000 people who
now hold a boat or PWC licence and 150,000
who own a registered boat. There are of course
the many thousands – practically countless –
unregistered and unlicensed people who go
‘boating’ in all manner of smaller craft from
paddlers and rowers, to sailors in training boats
through to high-performance skiffs.
As activity increases through spring and into
summer, and whilst boating remains a relatively
safe activity, preventable trauma continues to
In NSW, a concerted effort involving both
government agencies and also maritime-related
NGO has helped deliver a significant downward
trend in fatal incidents on the waterways.
In fact, for the 12 months ending 30 June,
recreational boating fatalities in NSW were
down approximately 80% on the long-term
average. This was the lowest boating toll in at
least 40 years.
It was also significant that last season, lifejacket
wear rates had risen more than four-fold over
the past 10 years.
Setting the tone for this change in behaviour is
the Wear a Lifejacket campaign that has
now completed its fifth season. This campaign
has evolved from promotion of wearable modern
styles to the importance of care and service of
inflatables. That shift in emphasis will continue
this year. Inflatables offer excellent wearability
but they demand extra care and attention ...
let’s call it responsibility.
While death by drowning is down, preventable
fatalities continue to occur in boating due to
factors such as: speed; excess alcohol; weather
conditions, tow sports, cold water, and ‘skippers’
(and that includes paddlers and people using
PWC) not adhering to their responsibilities
under the Collision Regulations.
To address one area of concern, namely anti-
social use of PWC, the State Government
has announced a new Maritime Enhanced
Enforcement Program for the coming season
through a new collaboration with Marine Area
Command of the NSW Police. This will see more
police on the water dealing with dangerous and
anti-social behaviour including irresponsible use
of drugs and alcohol on the water, especially in
some of the hot spots such as the Georges River
and Botany Bay areas.
In July, Service NSW launched a digital boat
licence mobile phone app for customer
convenience. This has already seen more than
11,000 boat licences downloaded.
Boating Safety Day is scheduled for Sunday 15
October and will be held in conjunction with
Gone Fishing Day. The combined events will be
an opportunity to find out the latest regarding
safe and responsible boating and fishing.
Boating Safety Day events will be part of the
Gone Fishing Day events from 9am to 3pm at
the following locations:
• Botany Bay, Dolls Point, Peter Depena
• Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshore Park
• Nelson Bay foreshore, Victoria Parade
• Lake Illawarra, Judbooley Parade foreshore
(north side of Windang Bridge)
• Albury, Noreuil Park foreshore
• Inverell, Campbell Park, Captain Cook Drive
• Recreational boats, both power and sail,
should keep well clear of large vessels and
• Do not cross ahead of large vessels or ferries
unless well clear. Even when hundreds of
metres away, your boat may disappear from
the ship master’s view from the bridge.
• In Sydney Harbour, that means keeping
at least 500m clear of the bows of a ship
• In port areas, seagoing ships may have an
escort vessel leading the way out to the
Heads. Do not pass between the ship and
the escort which will be showing red and
blue flashing lights.
• Remember, large vessels tend to travel
much faster than they appear to be. Give
yourself plenty of room
• Do not cross close astern of a large vessel or
• Always keep to the starboard side of a
• Do not cross a channel if you are going
to impede a vessel which has to use the
KEEP CLEAR OF LARGER VESSELS
An 18ft skiff comes too close while
crossing ahead of a large passenger
ship in Sydney Harbour.
The main safety tips for small boats around shipping and ferry channels are:
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