Education and compliance campaign on commercial vessels announced

NSW Transport Roads and Maritime services
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Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will carry out an education and compliance campaign during May on commercial vessels RMS Maritime Acting Director Michael Wright said today.

'RMS Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) will be inspecting many of the State’s 9000 registered commercial vessels including passenger boats, houseboats, party boats, oyster punts, work boats, fishing boats and tourist boats as part of the campaign to improve compliance with an emphasis on crewing and safety requirements under the Marine Safety (Commercial Vessels) Regulations 2010,' Mr Wright said.

'Part of the campaign will be ensuring operators are aware of their safety management system (SMS) obligations which detail what should be done in emergency situations.

'In the two years to 31 December 2012 there were 178 incidents involving commercial vessels in NSW waters resulting in four fatalities, 27 serious injuries and 30 minor injuries.

'More than 150 of these occurred in enclosed waters such as bays or harbours, while 26 occurred in open waters.

'Commercial vessel operators must remain alert and keep an eye out for potential hazards at all times. Operators have a responsibility to ensure all their crew hold correct and valid qualifications and are familiar with the vessel and its capabilities.

'House boat operators, hire and drive licensees must ensure hirers are properly and thoroughly shown how to operate their vessels and made aware of possible risks.

'BSOs will be ensuring vessel operators are complying with correct passenger numbers,' Mr Wright said.