2024 Marine Safety Expo essential as Australian boat ownership hits new highs

Recreational boating, fishing and sailing are as much a part of Australia’s DNA as mozzie bites and vegemite, but with boating ownership on the rise across the country, that DNA must include vigilance around marine safety.   

In 2023, boat ownership reached a record high in Australia. With over 80 per cent of Australia’s population living in coastal regions, and with fishing, paddling and sailing increasingly popular leisure pursuits, the need for safety education and awareness has never been greater.  

This is the focus of the 2024 Marine Safety Expo. 

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) and the Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC) are hosting the family-friendly Expo at the SYC from 10am to 4pm on Sunday the 21st of July 2024. 

The event will have something for all ages and experience levels with free tours of boats and first responder vessels, air ambulance fly pasts, and lots of great activities designed to educate and raise awareness about the many facets of marine safety. 

The ORCV, which has a global reputation for its leadership in offshore sailing and marine safety education, leaves nothing to chance in marine safety, and welcomes the opportunity to partner with the SYC to deliver this important and informative event. 

Cyrus Allen, Commodore of the ORCV, will be attending the event and is a strong advocate for marine safety.  

“Safety is paramount when on the water for recreational, sporting and commercial endeavours. 

“The [2024] Marine Safety Expo is an extension of the ORCV’s long history of dedicating time and resources to equipping our fleets with the skills and knowledge to stay safe -we’re very thankful for the support of our foundation partner SYC in running this event,” said Allen. 

The event will feature a lineup of prominent speakers from the marine safety sector, and will include display stands, and static and dynamic equipment displays to engage and inform the crowds. 

The day will get underway with a presentation from Linda Berryman from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on beacons as navigation aids, with Berryman giving a taste of what the future holds for modern beacon design. 

Martin Vaughan from the ORCV will host a session on safe weather navigation while David Tilsley from Ports Victoria will provide important insights into safe navigation in port waters. 

Search and rescue roles, rescue preparedness, and rescues at sea will be key themes in the afternoon program with insights from the Victorian Water Police and Air Ambulance Victoria, with a range of vessels open for inspection.  

Complementing the speaker’s program will be displays from a variety of marine safety organisations covering a wide range of topics including life jacket technology, maritime careers, safety regulations, community and sustainability, and ocean racing safety.  

This year’s Expo will also provide an opportunity to get up close to important search and rescue craft with Ports Victoria offering tours of the 12.2m MV Lonsdale, which will be docked in the inner harbour. 

Fire Rescue Victoria will be on hand to discuss the fire and marine rescue services they provide to the people of Victoria with a marine rescue craft docked in the inner harbour, while the Volunteer Coastguard will also have a vessel on hand to offer insights into their role and capabilities. 

There will be something for everyone at the Expo. 

The ORCV will be keeping everyone entertained with a scavenger hunt and a range of activities for the kids, and in the early afternoon, excitement will build in the air when the Air Ambulance and MICA conduct a fly past and hover. 

The Marine Safety Expo would not be complete without some on-water action with the SYC hosting a J70 one-design sailing regatta as part of the day’s festivities.  

SYC members will also be on hand to talk all things sailing including club membership and the operation and focus of the SYC Sailing Academy. 

Dave Schiller, from the SYC/ORCV and Race Officer for the last two Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Races, understands the importance of marine safety and is keen to talk to as many people as possible at the Expo. 

“We’re really excited to welcome yachties (racing and cruising), dinghy sailors, boaters, the fishing community and all other marine enthusiasts to the inaugural Marine Safety Expo at Sandringham Yacht Club.  

“On the day we’ll be showcasing the latest on-water safety expertise through educating and raising awareness about marine safety,” said Schiller.  

Sponsors include Discount Yachting [DYSC], West Offshore Products and Ronstan whose generous support will allow for free entry to the event, but places are limited and registration is essential. 

The Expo comes at an opportune time for the growing number of entrants participating in the 2025 Melbourne to Osaka (M2O) double-handed ocean race. 

The ORCV, a partnering club in the M2O event, supports the fleet and all marine enthusiasts, by offering a rolling program of training and education seminars and events. 

Food and beverages will be on offer for purchase, while general parking is available at the Trey Bit Reserve. The event will be held at SYC, Jetty Road, Sandringham. 

To register go to https://www.orcv.org.au/club-blog/5548-2024expo

Media contact: Chris MacDonald, ORCV. Email: chris.macdonald@orcv.org.au

Headline statistic credit: https://deckee.com/boating-statistics-australia

Jane Austin/ORCV media

Photo credit: Daff Wallace

Website www.orcv.org.au 

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OceanRacingClub   

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