Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV) is cautioning boaters to stay safe on the state’s waterways this Easter weekend.
The message comes as MSV figures show that there were 24 reportable boating incidents during last year’s Easter weekend.
Paul Corkill, spokesperson for the maritime safety regulator, says that all boaties should be sensible and put safety first. “The Easter long weekend is a particularly busy time for boaties, including campers who go paddling on inland waters.
“While it’s a good time to unwind and relax with your loved ones, it should not be an excuse to become complacent with your safety.
“Make sure you are well prepared for the journey. This includes having appropriate safety equipment, such as life jackets, and that the equipment is in good working condition.
“Lifejackets can save your life when things go wrong, our recommendation is that you wear one at all times - regardless of the vessel you operate or the waterway you visit,” Mr Corkill said.
Mr Corkill also said that boaters should do the due diligence and check waterway rules before venturing out. “Different waterways have different operating rules, so it’s up to you to familiarise yourself with them. You can find out the rules by using our new online waterway map on our website www.transportsafety.vic.gov.au
“Once you’re under way, stick to the speed and distance rules designated for that waterway, and keep a proper lookout at all times for other vessels,” Mr Corkill said.
This Easter weekend, Maritime Safety Officers will be actively enforcing boating rules and will be issuing fines to those who do the wrong thing.