A statewide campaign to remind boaters to routinely check the expiry date of essential boating safety equipment will mark the start of the new boating season this October long weekend.
Acting Chief Executive of NSW Maritime Steve Dunn said inflatable lifejackets, flares and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) all carried expiry dates and it was crucial such safety equipment was kept in a serviceable condition.
'Boating Safety Officers will be out in force in bays, inlets, rivers, dams and lakes this long weekend conducting random inspections of boating safety equipment,' Mr Dunn said.
'Especially when it comes to inflatable lifejackets the message is: wear it, inspect it, service it.'
'Inflatable lifejackets are growing in popularity due to their compact size, but with that comes the added responsibility of ensuring all mechanisms are in good working order and ready to activate if needed,' said Mr Dunn. 'A poorly maintained inflatable jacket may not inflate when you need it most.'
NSW Maritime’s Don’t Expire campaign also includes a flier, a sticker and a resource page on the Maritime website to support the on-water education and compliance initiative and to help drive these important messages home to boaters.
'As every responsible skipper knows, regular checks need to be made of certain safety equipment items to ensure they will work when needed, such as in life threatening circumstances,' said Mr Dunn.
The new NSW Maritime resource page which generates email reminder alerts for important dates can be found here
'Now you can set up a reminder to your chosen email account for when it’s time to have a professional check of the CO2 cylinder, bladder and inflation mechanism,' Mr Dunn said.
'In fact, any number of alerts can be set up to include all manner of due date reminders. Lifejackets, flares and EPIRBs may all require servicing on different dates. So multiple reminder alerts can be set up for these as well.
'For safety’s sake, don't let this safety equipment expire - set an alarm.'
Skippers can also insert expiry dates on Don’t Expire stickers which can be displayed onboard the boat as a constant reminder, or simply note the expiry dates in a calendar or on a mobile phone.
For more information on safety equipment and boating safety, visit the Maritime NSW website