NSW Maritime urges towing safety
by Neil Patchett on 18 Jan 2011
NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn has today reminded boaters to exercise caution when involved in towing sports such as waterskiing, aquaplaning and wakeboarding.
'Boaters are reminded that towing sports have their own inherent dangers and extra precautions are necessary,' Mr Dunn said.
NSW Maritime recently checked around 1300 vessels as part of its statewide safety campaign ‘Operation Tow Smart’, in a bid to ensure compliance with towing requirements, educate the boating community about new lifejacket laws when towing and warn about the dangers associated with prop strike.
On a region-by-region basis the results of the campaign were as follows:
Sydney Region: 232 vessels checked, 9 infringements, and 1 formal warnings;
Hunter Inland: 240 vessels checked, 2 infringements and 10 formal warnings;
Hawkesbury/Broken Bay: 155 vessels checked and 6 infringements and 8 formal warnings;
North Coast: 206 vessels checked, 9 infringements and 10 formal warnings;
Murray Inland: 234 vessels checked and 22 infringements and 6 formal warnings;
South Coast: 231 vessels checked, 2 infringements and 5 formal warnings.
Mr Dunn said boating safety officers had also distributed ‘Take Care Be Prop Aware’ brochures and stickers to educate vessel operators about towing requirements when conducting standard safety checks.
He said other towing safety rules and advice included:
Carrying an observer aged 16 years or older or holding a young adult licence to keep watch over the people being towed;
Not towing more than three people at the same time;
Ensuring people being towed, whether in a tube, on skis or on a wakeboard, wear a life jacket;
Ensuring the towing vessel is registered and displays a safety label; andEnsuring the skipper, observer and person towed are under the 0.05 alcohol limit.
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