LifestyleMaritime Safety urges boaties to wear lifejackets

Maritime Safety urges boaties to wear lifejackets

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Maritime Safety Queensland Marine Officers will be out in force this summer. Photo: contributed.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) is urging all boaties in the Bundaberg Region to make these summer school holidays a time of celebration, not tragedy, by wearing lifejackets when they are on the water.

MSQ's marine incidents data shows wearing the proper lifejacket vastly increases the chance of surviving a boating accident.

Most recreational boating deaths involve people not wearing lifejackets, and the number of deaths has tragically trended upwards in recent years.

MSQ’s message to boaties is quite simple – plan your trip and be safe on the water to make sure everyone has a great day out.

Proper trip planning, including running through a checklist, before heading out on the water this summer is vital.

  • Check the weather and ensure you have alternative plans in place should the weather deteriorate.
  • Carry the proper number and size lifejackets for everyone, and check that they are fully serviced if required.
  • Notify someone of where you are going.
  • Service your boat and its engine.
  • Ensure you are carrying enough fuel and check the fuel is not more than three-months-old.
  • Carry an EPIRB and/or flares when required (check the expiry date).
  • Know the gazetted speeds on your route.

MSQ Acting General Manager Jim Huggett said Maritime Safety Queensland would be along the Queensland coastline and on inland waterways this summer assisting to help keep boaties safe.

“During 2023, MSQ more than doubled the size of its Maritime Enforcement Team to nine active officers, so expect to see them out on the water enforcing the Queensland boating safety rules,” he said.

“MSQ’s Marine Officers will also be out in force at all popular boating and holiday hotspots.

“Make your lifejacket your best friend this summer to keep yourself, and everyone with you, safe on the water.”

MSQ also has a network of marine officers on the water all over Queensland, who also undertake formal compliance and education work.

There are currently more than 1 million recreational boat licence holders in Queensland and sadly there were four boating fatalities and three serious injuries last summer, with 12 fatalities in the 2023 calendar year.

Maritime Safety Queensland’s summer boating safety campaign targeting lifejackets, speeding and trip planning began on 1 December 2023 and will run to 31 January 2024.