Marine Rescue NSW warn boaters to be safe
SUMMER is the busiest time of year for recreational boating and so Marine Rescue NSW volunteers are preparing for the increased number of boats and people on the water through the holidays.
The 2015-16 boating season got off to a hazardous start with volunteers from Marine Rescue Units along the NSW coastline responding to 341 calls for assistance in October alone.
Of these, 65 were life-threatening emergencies that could have had serious outcomes without the intervention of Marine Rescue volunteers.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos, said the great majority of all incidents are caused by mechanical or electrical failure.
"This means that most of these are avoidable by ensuring proper maintenance before taking the boat out for an anticipated great day on the water - especially if the boat hasn't been used since last season," Mr Tannos said.
A typical maintenance problem is dirty fuel in outboard tanks.
Not everyone realizes that outboard fuel "goes off" after a relatively short time in the tank, he said.
This is a problem ready to happen. Fuel components separate and the fuel loses its ability to combust.
A common occurrence is that the motors may start when the boat is launched but fail to start when ready to come home.
"In fine weather with calm seas, the worst result of the breakdown can be simply an interrupted day. In poor conditions, a breakdown can be life-threatening," Mr Tannos said.
"A rigorous boating safety check before launching after a long lay-off can be some of the best insurance a skipper can take for trouble-free boating.
"We also urge skippers to make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket and to Log On with your local MRNSW volunteers by marine radio or the free MarineRescue App for smartphones."