Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

Coast worst for boatie safety

- BRIANNA MORRIS-GRANT

THE Gold Coast had the highest number of boating accidents across all of Queensland in 2020.

A new Maritime Safety report revealed 104 boating accidents were reported in Gold Coast waters last year. Two people were killed and 14 hospitalis­ed.

Forty-nine people were injured in total.

The Gold Coast recorded more than double the number of incidents in Gladstone (70 in the same period) and almost double those on the Sunshine Coast (55).

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the report was distressin­g.

“Sadly, the tragedies we saw play out on our roads last

year were echoed on our waterways too,” he said.

“Despite less cars being on the road during lockdowns, more Queensland­ers took risks like speeding or drug driving, resulting in more deaths and severe injuries.

“We also saw an increase in boating activity during the Covid-19 hiatus accompanie­d by an alarming rise in personover­board incidents.”

He added the report confirmed a significan­t rise in the number of new boats in 2020, with an extra 7224 recreation­al vehicles registered statewide.

“This was (more than) three times the number we would expect to see in any given year,” he said.

“There were 33 reported incidents of people going overboard in 2020 which included 14 of the 17 fatalities, the highest in 10 years.

“While the circumstan­ces may differ over time, the water safety message hasn’t changed.

“Boat operators need to keep a proper lookout at all times and always travel at a safe speed. Most importantl­y, they must have enough life jackets for all on board and ensure they wear them whenever there’s a heightened risk.”

 ??  ?? Mark Bailey.
Mark Bailey.

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