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Transport for NSW has joined with Marine
Area Command (NSW Police) to launch a
Maritime Enhanced Enforcement Program,
which includes random alcohol and drug testing
as well as a crackdown on dangerous or anti-
social activity on the water.
The State Government launched the program
last month and it will result in random drug
testing on waterways as part of a new marine
safety enforcement program aimed at hoon,
anti-social and dangerous behaviour.
There were three fatalities, two of them involving
personal watercraft, and nine serious accidents
in the provisional toll on NSW waterways in
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said
Marine Area Command officers will conduct
random breath and drug tests so the community
can enjoy the waterways safely.
“We continue to see preventable boating
incidents and dangerous jet-ski riding in certain
hot spots so you can expect to see more police
on our waterways over the summer boating
season,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“Some of the worst marine fatalities have
involved drugs and alcohol so having the
capability to drug test on the water is another
measure to reduce the risk of incidents on our
“Driving any vessel under the influence of alcohol
or illegal drugs puts you at greater risk of injuring
or killing yourself, your friends and other innocent
people,” Commissioner Fuller said.
The boating season officially kicked off on
Sunday 1 October, which saw police officers
from Marine Area Command as well as Roads
and Maritime Boating Safety Officers patrolling
the waterways to ensure the community enjoyed
their on-water activities safely.
Mr Grant said the NSW Government welcomed
the Maritime Enhanced Enforcement Program.
“Water safety is a key priority of this government,
and we are committed to ensuring we don’t see
another horror summer of drownings like we
saw over the last Christmas – New Year period
in NSW,” Mr Grant said.
“Too often people underestimate the conditions
and overestimate their abilities on our
waterways. This program is aimed at preventing
those accidents that could have easily been
“We urge road users to not drink and consume
drugs before getting behind the wheel, and
today is a reminder for all boat users that the
same rules apply to them. When you drink or do
drugs on our waterways, you aren’t just risking
your own life, but the lives of other innocent
water enthusiasts,” Mr Grant said.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight,
Melinda Pavey said it is important that our
waterways remain safe for all, and that means
being responsible when operating a vessel.
“Last year NSW recorded three boating fatalities
which was the lowest number in at least 40
years, and more than 80 per cent below the
long-term average. But even one life lost is one
too many and we must remain vigilant when it
comes to safety,” Minister Pavey said.
“The vast majority of people who go boating do
the right thing and have nothing to fear from
this Maritime Enhanced Enforcement Program
which is aimed at those who put others at
risk through anti-social, hoon or dangerous
The Maritime Enhanced Enforcement Program
was established in collaboration with Transport
for NSW through the Centre for Maritime
Safety (CMS) to run over three summer boating
seasons until April 2020.
The Centre for Maritime Safety established
the program following a trial last season. The
program outline is as follows:
• The Centre is providing funding to Marine
Area Command to enable the program to
be delivered over the boating season;
• The funding delivers alcohol and drug
testing equipment, and overtime to
deliver more on-water compliance and
• The program is in addition to standard on-
water patrols carried out by RMS and MAC;
• This program will run over three consecutive
summer boating seasons from December
2017 to April 2020 and will:
° respond to anti-social, hoon and
dangerous behaviour, including in relation
to Personal Watercraft (aka ‘jetskis’);
° include random alcohol testing and for
the first time, drug testing.
More information on Marine Area Command
can be found on their Facebook page: www.
To find more information about the program,
dangerous use of
PWC will be a focus
of the enhanced
Police will be conducting random testing this
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