Pilbara skippers told to check flares are in date
News for the Department of Transport
Skippers in the Pilbara are being reminded to check they have in-date flares on board after a higher than usual number of vessels checked in the past 12 months failed to meet the safety requirement.
Department of Transport (DoT) Marine Safety Education Officers will be in the region early next month reinforcing the importance of carrying in-date flares and providing tips on safe boating.
DoT Manager Safety Education Laurie Adams said of the 109 safety compliance checks carried out in the Pilbara since July 2017 16.5 per cent of vessels were not carrying serviceable flares (in-date or not on board) which is about five per cent above the average.
"It's a concerning trend, and mirrors the situation in the Kimberley. In-date flares are required safety equipment for boating in open waters and skippers who fail to carry them are risking their lives," Mr Adams said.
Attending Karratha's popular FeNaClNG Festival on August 4 and 5, 2018 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 put on a lifejacket in 30 seconds. People can visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/30secondchallenge to find out how to take the challenge.
Mr Adams said DoT would also bring its very successful Old4New lifejacket upgrade to the festival.
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 to purchase 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 the Lifejackets page.
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