by Penny Robins
Operation Alpine would target boating safety on southern alpine waterways this October long weekend announced Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams today.
NSW Transport Roads and Maritime services
'The main aim of the RMS campaign will be to ensure boaters are aware of their responsibilities when out on alpine waters,' Mr Williams said.
'Boating safety officers in the Murray/Inland and South Coast regions will be randomly checking boaters to ensure they are wearing or carrying sufficient lifejackets for everyone on board.
'Wearing a lifejacket is the law and just common sense, especially for those who go boating alone or in small open runabouts on alpine waters.
'Boating on alpine waters can be more hazardous than in warmer water for obvious reasons – the water temperature is still under 10 degrees at this time of the year in many parts of the state including parts of the Murray River and inland dams.
'Your body can go into cold shock very quickly if you fall into cold water,' Mr Williams said.
Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 - NSW, alpine waters are defined as Lake Burrinjuck, Lake Eucumbene, Lake Jindabyne, Khancoban Pondage, Swampy Plains River, Mannus Lake, Googong Reservoir, Blowering Dam and all navigable waters within the boundaries of the Koskiusko National Park.
Operation Alpine will start 6am Friday to 6pm Monday and will coincide with the official start to the 2012-13 boating season which continues until the end of the Easter long weekend.
Operation Ramp Check is also under way throughout NSW and continues until 7 October primarily to educate boaters about boat ramp etiquette and to ensure boaters have all required safety equipment such as lifejackets.
For more information on when to wear a lifejacket click here
Maritime NSW website