NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers checked more than 1500 boats statewide during Operation Cold Water over the long weekend.
Recreational Boating General Manager for NSW Maritime, Brett Moore, said the campaign was considered a success as part of a wider effort to raise awareness of the risks of hypothermia.
“The people of NSW go boating all year round but it is at this time of year that exposure to cold air and water temperatures presents the greatest risk,” Moore said.
“In the cooler months, it becomes more critical than normal to regularly check the weather before and during boating, to ensure your boat is suitable for the conditions, and to dress appropriately.
“Perhaps most importantly, every skipper must ensure their boat is fitted with all the required safety equipment, and that includes a lifejacket for every person on board.”
Moore said NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers carried out 1538 spot safety checks over the weekend, issuing 65 infringements and 92 formal warnings across NSW.
“Compliance rates with safety requirements are at around 90 per cent statewide, which is encouraging but there remains room for improvement,” he said.
Early reports from NSW Maritime's operational regions included the following:
* North Coast: One serious boating injury reported with a competitor airlifted to Lismore Base Hospital with broken ribs and pelvis following a water-ski incident at Grafton;
* Hunter/Inland: A houseboat overturned, with no people on board, and NSW Maritime recovered one stolen vessel at lake Macquarie;
* Sydney: The weather was good with a larger number of boaters on the water and overall compliance was high;
* South Coast: Generally fresh to strong winds reduced boating numbers; and
* Murray/Inland: The weather was wet and cold, and water levels down on the Murray River and Lake Mulwala which led to reduced boating activity.
More information on boating safety at www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/