Safer boat­ing with rules

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE | COMMUNITY - COAST WATCH JOHN GASPAROTTO

THE loss of a num­ber lives on Queens­land waters last year is a grim re­minder to recre­ational and com­mer­cial boat­ies to keep a proper look­out and be ready for emer­gen­cies at all times.

Coast Guard Caloun­dra said there is an in­creased risk of boat­ing mishaps as more peo­ple head for the wa­ter.

The skip­per is re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing ev­ery­one on board knows where the life jack­ets are lo­cated and how to put them on in a hurry.

But don’t wait un­til it’s too late – it’s com­mon sense to put on your life jack­ets be­fore you need them.

When­ever you think there is a height­ened risk such as cross­ing a bar, wors­en­ing weather or when you’re in a busy boat­ing lane make sure ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially the kids, are wear­ing a life jacket.

Al­ways wear a life jacket at night or when boat­ing alone.

Boat skip­pers should slow down im­me­di­ately bad weather, glare, dark­ness or any­thing else that im­pairs their vi­sion and be pre­pared for the worst.

Be­fore you head out tell your lo­cal vol­un­teer Coast Guard where you are go­ing and when and where you’re due back. Boat­ies should make sure they know their nav­i­ga­tion rules.

Never as­sume the skip­per of an­other boat will ob­serve the rules and al­ways be pre­pared to take ac­tion to avoid a col­li­sion.

Skip­pers should also re­mem­ber the same un­der .05 rule for drink driv­ing ap­plies on the wa­ter as on the road.

A MUST: Life jack­ets are stan­dard safety gear.

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