Boat safety re­view timely: Res­cue group

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Bryce Luff

A RE­VIEW of safety equip­ment re­quired on re­cre­ational ves­sels has been wel­comed by the Cock­burn Vol­un­teer Sea Search and Res­cue group, with com­man­der Brad Ni­cholas say­ing it is a timely dis­cus­sion to have.

The re­cently-launched re­view of re­cre­ational boat safety equip­ment re­quire­ments is the first of its kind in 25 years.

Com­man­der Ni­cholas’ team at­tends 200 in­ci­dents each year, re­turn­ing more than 600 peo­ple safely to land.

He said it was a good dis­cus­sion to have, with tech­nol­ogy hav­ing evolved sig­nif­i­cantly since the last re­view.

The num­ber of re­cre­ational ves­sels had also boomed, to­gether with the dis­tances they were be­ing taken off­shore.

“Our group has been in­volved in re­cent in­ci­dents that have re­sulted in three fa­tal­i­ties,” he said.

“Any open dis­cus­sion that might im­prove safety of life at sea is a good dis­cus­sion to have.”

Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said safety reg­u­la­tions needed to be brought into the 21st cen­tury.

“In an emer­gency, safety equip­ment can save a life so we must en­sure the re­quire­ments meet the needs of the grow­ing num­ber of ves­sel types and also re­flect the sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in tech­nol­ogy since the last re­view in 1992,” she said.

“The aim of the re­view is to en­hance the safety of peo­ple on the wa­ter with­out re­duc­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion rate or im­pos­ing un­rea­son­able costs on those who en­joy boat­ing.”

To view the dis­cus­sion pa­per, visit www.trans­port.wa.gov.au/safe­tye­quip­men­tre­view.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell d461875

Com­pli­ance and in­ves­ti­ga­tions man­ager Peter Beat­tie and ma­rine of­fi­cer Paul Dut­ton.

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