Planning to go sailing this weekend in NSW? Better check those flares are up to date and you have all other necessary safety equipment aboard.
NSW Maritime South Region Manager Craig Whitmore said Boating Safety Officers of NSW Maritime would be out in force on state waters, particularly in colder areas.
“Boating Safety Officers will conduct on-water safety checks and will be checking vessel safety labels which carry safety information and indicate the maximum number of people to be carried aboard.”
“The safety label also reminds people of the need to carry a lifejacket for each person.
“In the cooler months, a lifejacket not only provides buoyancy if needed but can help insulate against cold.”
Operation Cold Water also aims to raise awareness of danger of hypothermia.
Exposure to cold air or water temperatures can lead to hypothermia which is the condition of low body-core temperature. This results from prolonged heat loss due to immersion or inappropriate clothing or protection in cold, wet and windy conditions.
The onset of hypothermia can be rapid and if not recognised by the victim or others, a critical medical condition can follow in as little as 30 minutes.
Signs of hypothermia include exhaustion, reluctance to do anything, difficult to reason with and slowed mental and physical reactions. Sense of touch is poor, speech may be slurred and lips, hands and feet may swell.
NSW Maritime says skippers must check the weather, ensure their boat is suitable, carry all the appropriate safety gear and if in doubt, don't go out.
More information at http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/cold.html