Napthine Government boosts boating safety

Friday 31 October 2014

The Napthine Government has announced that it will continue to take a strong stance on marine safety by bolstering funding for on-water compliance and education for the upcoming summer boating season.

Minister for Ports David Hodgett said the recruitment of extra Boating Safety Officers, funded by the Napthine Government’s Boating Safety and Facilities Program, will assist Transport Safety Victoria’s Maritime safety branch in promoting safety out on the water this summer.

“With warmer weather and Christmas holidays approaching, there will be a lot more activity on the water and we want to ensure every one of the State’s 270,000 recreational boaters return home safely to their loved ones,” Mr Hodgett said.

“While most boaters do the right thing on the water, we still see a large number of serious injuries occurring each year and more than 1,000 calls for help each summer. Sadly, in 2013-14, 10 boaters lost their lives on Victorian waters.

“The deployment of additional Boating Safety Officers will play an important role in educating boaters and help to spread information about boating safety.

“I am also pleased to support a stronger on-water safety team this boating season which will be underpinned by a state-wide campaign reminding boaters to wear life jackets.

“This campaign will highlight the devastation that not wearing a lifejacket can have on friends and loved ones who are left behind.

“My message to boaters is: wear a lifejacket, or others wear the consequences,” Mr Hodgett said.

Peter Corcoran, Director of Maritime Safety at TSV, said that his officers will be playing a key role in promoting the safety of all waterway users over the coming months.

“Last summer, our Boating Safety Officers interacted with more than 10,000 boaters. With an expanded education and compliance team, we hope to have an ever greater reach this boating season.

“We will continue to work closely with boaters to increase their knowledge, awareness and compliance with relevant marine safety laws.

“We will also be undertaking patrols with our partners including Victoria Police, particularly at high-use boating locations across the state,” Mr Corcoran said.

The latest TSV figures have revealed that in 2013-14 there were 1,287 recreational boating incidents, including 1,012 vessel disablements.

For more information about boating safety, visit the TSV website at www.transportsafety.vic.gov.au