Skippers told to check flares are in date (Jurien Bay to Port Hedland)
News for the Department of Transport
Skippers from Jurien Bay to Port Hedland are being reminded to check they have in-date flares and ensure all their safety gear is in good working order and readily accessible in an emergency.
This is the message from the Department of Transport (DoT) as it prepares the Marine Safety Education Trailer to visit the region next month, providing tips on safe boating.
DoT Manager Safety Education Laurie Adams said the high number of vessels going to sea with out-of-date flares was a concerning trend identified during safety compliance checks conducted over summer.
"In the area from the Mid West to Pilbara 323 safety checks were conducted and in 17 per cent of cases the skippers were found not to be carrying serviceable flares (in-date or not on board)," Mr Adams said.
"In-date flares are required safety equipment for boating in open waters and skippers who fail to carry them are risking their lives.
"While in the region education officers will be reinforcing the importance of having the correct safety equipment in good working order and will be advocating skippers and passengers take the 30 Second Challenge which tests readiness for an emergency response on board a vessel."
The initiative tests if people can gather flares, EPIRB, make a radio call and don a lifejacket in 30 seconds. People can visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/30secondchallenge to find out how to take the challenge. Officers will be visiting boat ramps and caravan parks in the region to deliver the challenge. Skippers can win an inflatable lifejacket and an offshore flare kit.
Mr Adams said DoT would also bring its very successful Old4New lifejacket upgrade to the area.
The Old4New program, delivered in conjunction with the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia, is an upgrade opportunity where old, damaged, obsolete or foam filled lifejackets can be exchanged for a voucher for use at a local retail outlet when purchasing a new lifejacket.
Voucher limits and restrictions are in place to ensure the benefits of the program apply to as many vessels as possible so people who want to participate should check the guidelines at www.transport.wa.gov.au/lifejackets
Skippers can take the 30 Second Challenge, get an Old4New lifejacket upgrade, see how to use flares and learn more about safe boating at the following times and locations:
- Jurien Bay boat ramp: 1pm - 2pm Mon July 2, 2018.
- Denham Town Boat Ramp (off Knight Terrace): 2pm - 3pm Fri July 6, 2018.
- Carnarvon recreational boat ramp (off Harbour Road): 9am -10am Mon July 9, 2018.
- Coral Bay boat ramp: 10am -11am Wed July 11, 2018.
- Exmouth Marina boat ramp (off Madaffari Drive): 3pm - 4pm Fri July 13, 2018.
- Beadon Creek boat ramp: 3pm - 4pm Wed July 25, 2018.
- Port Hedland - boat ramp off The Esplanade: 9am - 10am Sat July 28, 2018.
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