ON THE WATER: Boating safety will be under scrutiny this weekend.
ON THE WATER: Boating safety will be under scrutiny this weekend. John Gass

Blitz on Northern Rivers boaties this long weekend

ROADS and Maritime Services will be ramping up its safety and education campaign this long weekend, with extra boats patrolling Northern Rivers water ways.

Ballina RMS boating safety officer Darren Watson said the RMS was about to launch a state-wide boating education and compliance campaign to coincide with the start of boating season.

He said the campaign would involve on-water inspections through most parts of the Northern Rivers.

"We've got a high emphasis on safety equipment, life jackets and educating boaters about the start of the boating season and preparedness for the boating season," he said.

"The weather is shaping up to be an outstanding weekend.

"We would remind anyone who is heading to sea across the coastal bar it's compulsory to wear a lifejacket.

"Even if it's warm and calm weather, a storm could blow up any time, it has done in the last few days.

"We recommend people going to sea log in with marine rescue."

Mr Watson said some of the consequences for failing to comply with safety standards can include being directed off the water or fined.

He said some of the more common incidents that occur on the water, particularly during long weekends, include un-serviced engines and lack of knowledge about waterways.

Given the major causes of breakdown at sea are engine failure, fuel shortage or contamination, mechanical and battery failure, RMS is encouraging all boat owners to check their boat, motor and equipment is in good working order.

Other boating safety equipment that should be carefully inspected includes flares, distress beacons and fire extinguishers, which should be replaced after their expiry date.

For a complete list of the safety equipment that must be carried on your boat, check your copy of the Boating Handbook or visit the website at http://www.rms.nsw. gov.au/maritime.



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