Skippers told to check flares are in date
News for the Department of Transport
Skippers from the Goldfields and Esperance 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 join the local team in Kalgoorlie next week (March 22 and 23) reinforcing the importance of carrying in-date flares and providing an opportunity for skippers to measure their readiness for an onboard emergency with the 30 Second Challenge.
The initiative demonstrates if people can gather flares, EPIRB, make a radio call and put on a lifejacket in 30 seconds.
DoT Regional Director Bradley Mitchell said it was encouraging that of the 600 safety compliance checks in 2018, 90 per cent of vessels had serviceable flares. However, there was concern about the 10 per cent that failed the test because it represented a two per cent increase on the previous year.
“It’s a concerning trend. In-date flares are required safety equipment for boating in open water and skippers who fail to carry them are risking their lives,” Mr Mitchell said.
At the Kalgoorlie Boulder Community Fair DoT officers will be highlighting the need to have the correct safety equipment in good working order in a location that it is easily accessed in an emergency.
Mr Mitchell said local skippers could also participate in the successful Old4New lifejacket upgrade program.
Old4New, 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 on the website Lifejackets page
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