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Boating safety strategies for winter

by Ken McManus ESM on 8 Jun 2011
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Marine Rescue NSW provides some tips on boating safety for winter and the coming long weekend.

'Every year the June long weekend is a great start to winter boating,' said Commissioner Glenn Finniss of Marine Rescue NSW. 'Even with colder weather, the NSW coast can be a magical place for a day out or a longer cruise. But winter brings the need for skippers to take even greater care to avoid risks. Here are five easy strategies for safe winter boating.'

Wear the right clothing for cold weather
The current cold snap means warmer clothing is needed and it’s smart to take a change of clothes in case what you’re wearing gets wet.

Cold water can be a killer – be prepared for it
Sea temperatures are down to 20° and below. Immersion in water this cold is dangerous. Hypothermia is caused when the body’s core temperature drops. Marine Rescue volunteers have had to help in a number of capsizes in recent weeks. A sudden, unexpected wave can turn a day trip into a deadly tragedy so wear warm clothes and make sure all aboard wear a lifejacket. They’ll help you stay afloat in an emergency and provide added insulation.

Clear toxic exhaust fumes with good ventilation
Ensure good ventilation while motors are running. Carbon Monoxide is the killer in exhaust fumes. You can’t smell it, you can’t see it and you can’t taste it. But if you can smell the exhaust there’s a real risk you’re also being affected by Carbon Monoxide.

Check your marine radio before you go out
Call your local Marine Rescue base and ask for a radio check before you leave. When you know your marine radio is working you know you can call for help fast in an emergency.

Log On with your local Marine Rescue unit
When Marine Rescue knows you’re out there and when you’re due back, trained Marine Rescue volunteers will take action to find you if an emergency stops you from Logging Off when you return. Please remember to Log Off so we know you’re safe.

'NSW is Australia’s great boating state,' said Commissioner Finniss. 'Most boating risks are avoidable and good boating practice will keep you prepared for the unexpected. Marine Rescue NSW is here to keep you safe on the Marine Rescue NSW website
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