Acting Community Safety Minister Steve Dickson is urging all boaties to take extra care when hitting the water this festive season.
Mr Dickson said Christmas was the perfect time to spend time on the water with friends and family but the increased boating traffic often meant a rise in the number of incidents.
'There are more than 200,000 registered boat owners in Queensland and there’s a good chance many of them will take to the State’s waterways over the Christmas period,' Mr Dickson said.
'With more boats on the water we are asking people to be alert and prepared so they don’t need the services of the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) or Coast Guard.
'Last year alone the VMR and Coast Guard responded to nearly 10,000 calls for assistance in Queensland.
'However, by taking a few precautions all boaties can ensure that they don’t add to the statistic.'
· Have the right safety equipment including enough lifejackets for everyone on board
· Ensure the boat and motor are in safe and good working order
· Have enough fuel for the trip plus a little extra to allow for unexpected high winds and strong tides
· Tell someone or the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) or Coast Guard where you are leaving from, your destination and what time you’re expected back
· Take your mobile phone and ensure it is charged
· Check the weather before you leave and continue to monitor it for sudden storms or wind changes
· Allow for more boating traffic on the water and follow the rules of the waterways
· Have an Emergency Position Indicating Response Beacon (EPIRB) if operating more than two nautical miles from land in open waters
More information about the latest boating safety requirements and safety tips can be found at www.msq.qld.gov.au
by The Honourable Steven Dickson
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8:11 AM Fri 21 Dec 2012GMT
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