by Ken McManus
Marine Rescue NSW continues its drive to lessen boating casualties by urging boaters to wear life jackets before heading into the high seas, especially this summer boating season.
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Boaters heading on to the water without a lifejacket are risking their safety this festive season, Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said today.
Commissioner Tannos urged all boaters to always make sure everyone on board was wearing a lifejacket.
'Please don’t gamble with your safety when you’re out on your boat. Wearing a lifejacket is the simplest thing you can do to help save your life in an emergency,' he said.
'Thousands of people will be out on the water over summer and it’s horrible to think that some of them might not come home simply because they couldn’t be bothered, were too proud or just didn’t think to put on their lifejacket.
'Our stunning waterways are incredibly popular playgrounds for boaters over December and January. Many of these people will be on holidays, perhaps in a new boat and on unfamiliar waters. This demands extra vigilance from us all.
'Our 46 Marine Rescue NSW units are on full operational alert over the summer months, with more than 3,000 hardworking and committed volunteers ready to help if trouble strikes.'
Commissioner Tannos said safety on board a vessel was the skipper’s responsibility.
'An emergency on the water can happen at any time. Sometimes it happens too fast to grab lifejackets before you’re in the water. Smart skippers know to wear their lifejackets and ensure their passengers do, too,' he said.
Marine Rescue NSW supports the State Government’s new campaign, A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water, focusing on letting boaties and fishermen know there’s a style of lifejacket to suit everyone and highlighting the importance of actually wearing them, rather than stowing them away.
Commissioner Tannos reminded boaters to always Log On and Off with their nearest Marine Rescue NSW base when taking to the water.
'Whether you’re heading out for a day’s fishing on the river or embarking on a longer journey along the coastline, logging on and off with Marine Rescue NSW means someone responsible knows you’re out there and when you’re due back and can take action to locate you if you’re overdue,' he said.
For a full list of all volunteer Marine Rescue units in NSW, go to Marine Rescue NSW