Boaties behaving badly
News for the Department of Transport
The expansion of closed circuit television to three new boating hotspots has revealed a concerning disregard for the rules of the water by some boat owners and seen the number of infringements and cautions nearly triple in the first month.
After a successful trial at Belmont, the Department of Transport (DoT) introduced CCTV at the Narrows Bridge, Deepwater Point and Point Walter in October.
DoT Marine Safety General Manager Ray Buchholz said the level of risky behaviour had been alarming, despite special signage to alert water users to the new cameras.
"Using the CCTV footage officers issued a total of 140 infringements and cautions in the month to November 28, 2018, compared with only 49 at the same locations last year," Mr Buchholz said.
The personal water craft (PWC) area at the Narrows Bridge recorded the highest number of offences (62), Belmont was second with 42 and Point Walter had 31. There was limited activity at Deepwater Point (5) due to the closure of the launch ramp for the duration of the period.
Mr Buchholz said it was the responsibility of a skipper to know and abide by the rules of the waterway they are navigating, allowing others to share it safety.
"The behaviour of some boaties at all locations has been very disappointing as their actions could have ended in tragedy on a number of occasions," Mr Buchholz said.
DoT released footage highlighting the irresponsible behaviour including one Narrows Bridge PWC operator towing a skier, without an observer, despite it being an illegal activity in the area and narrowly avoiding another vessel. There is also imagery of a vessel illegally towing an inflatable tube at Belmont and also without an observer. On both occasions the skipper was fined $160.
The most common offences detected using CCTV footage were failure to wear a lifejacket while operating a PWC (39), speeding (35) and operating in prohibited boating areas set aside to ensure safety of other water users such as swimmers (27).
Visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine for information about safe boating in WA.
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