Skippers warned to check water levels as boat safety reinforced at Woolarama
News for the Department of Transport
Boat owners in the Great Southern are being urged to check water levels at local lakes as part of a spotlight on boating safety in the region.
Department of Transport (DoT) Operations Manager Noel Chambers said limited rainfall over summer had left some lakes close to the 1.5 metre minimum required for water skiing and engaging in the activity without checking the water level posed a serious risk to safety.
Waterways identified at risk of being below the safe water levels include Queerearrup Lake and Norring Lake.
Mr Chambers said the water level could be checked using a depth sounder or manual measuring instrument and locations found below 1.5 metres could be reported to the Department which would be promoting boating safety and providing Wheatbelt skippers with access to its latest promotions at the upcoming Wagin Woolarama.
DoT marine education and regional officers will be at the Woolarama (March 8 and 9, 2019) promoting equipment maintenance and the 30 Second Challenge which measures skippers’ readiness for an emergency on the water.
Local boat owners will also be able to take advantage of the successful Old4New lifejacket upgrade, which allows skippers to exchange their old, damaged, obsolete or foam filled lifejacket for a voucher for use at a local retail outlet when purchasing a new lifejacket.
The Old4New initiative, delivered in conjunction with the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia, spearheads a State-wide education campaign promoting the benefits of wearing lifejackets at all times while boating.
In the past two years more than 3,500 lifejackets and vouchers to upgrade at a retail store have been provided as part of the program – taking the same number of unsafe lifejackets off boats in WA.
To avoid disappointment, it’s important that people wanting to participate in the program read the Old4New guidelines at www.transport.wa.gov.au/lifejackets to check if their jackets qualify for an upgrade and to find out more information.
People can visit the Safety equipment page to find out how to take the challenge.
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