by NSW Maritime
NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers will target offshore boating safety this weekend with Operation Blue Water.
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NSW Maritime General Manager Operations Howard Glenn said the statewide campaign would see boating safety officers focus on and around the more than 40 coastal bars in NSW.
'Crossing a coastal bar requires skill, experience, knowledge of the vessel and proper assessment of the conditions,' Mr Glenn said.
'A skipper who does not plan and prepare for a crossing, is inviting trouble.
'Coastal bars are dynamic boating environments due to the constantly changing combination of wind, waves, currents, tides and shoals.'
Mr Glenn said it was law that everyone aboard a recreational vessel must wear an appropriate lifejacket when crossing a coastal bar.
'A lifejacket can save your life but only if you are wearing it,' Mr Glenn said.
To assist skippers in planning for a crossing, NSW Maritime provides live video footage and weather data of 16 of the most popular coastal bars.
Mr Glenn said skippers heading to sea should log on and off with the volunteers of Marine Rescue NSW with a marine radio and if heading more than two nautical miles offshore the boat must carry a 406 MhZ EPIRB (distress signalling beacon).
NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers will conduct on-spot-safety checks with a particular emphasis on lifejacket compliance.
NSW Maritime’s bar webcams can be viewed at http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/webcams/web-cam.html