by Ken McManus
With the weather forecasts looking optimistic for Anzac Day and the weekend, Marine Rescue NSW urges all boaters planning on taking to the water to make safety their priority.
Another Marine Rescue tow home after a breakdown
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said boaters should take four simple safety precautions to help increase their chances of trouble-free boating – and of being rescued in the event of an emergency.
1. Check your vessel is in good working order before heading out on the water.
'You want to make sure you have a great break on the water, not a break down,' he said.
'Check your battery is fully charged. Check fuel, oil and coolant levels. Ensure you have sufficient fuel supplies on board. Check trailer wheels and bearings.'
2. Ensure everyone on board is wearing their lifejacket.
'A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water but it can help save your life if you are wearing it. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly, often without giving you time to find and put on your lifejacket. Putting on your lifejacket as soon as you step on board is the best insurance policy.'
3. Log On and Log Off with your nearest Marine Rescue unit.
'Use your radio to Log on with your local Marine Rescue unit and give us details of your boat, the number of people on board, your intended destination and expected return time. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing someone responsible knows you’re out there and can move quickly to look for you if you don’t return as scheduled,' he said.
4. Know your position so you can guide rescuers to you in an emergency.
'Many boats have GPS equipment but you can keep track of where you are by noting your compass direction as you travelled from port to the point where you called for help, how long it took to get there and the speed at which you were travelling,' Commissioner Tannos said.
'If you have a smart phone, check its GPS capability and learn how to read off your Latitude and Longitude for an accurate position.
'If, despite these precautions, you do find yourself in strife, Marine Rescue volunteers are standing by, ready to help you. You can radio or phone Marine Rescue. In a life-threatening emergency call Triple Zero.'
Marine Rescue NSW