No holiday for safety on the water this Xmas
News for the Department of Transport
The importance of safety on the water has been reinforced as record numbers of boats and other craft head out to share our waterways over the holiday break.
After a busier than usual start to the boating season in WA, the Department of Transport (DoT) today joined with Water Police to remind skippers they’re responsible for safety and should check the conditions, their vessel and equipment before every voyage.
DoT A/Director of Waterways Safety Peter Beattie said a greater number of vessels were expected on the water this summer following an overall increase in registrations in recent months which included a spike in new vessel registrations (40 per cent increase in July to September 2020 compared with 2019).
“The registration data coupled with a 32 per cent increase in people sitting their Recreational Skipper’s Ticket (RST) in the same period means there could be more first-time skippers heading out on the water in both metropolitan and regional settings this summer,” Mr Beattie said.
“We are advocating all skippers take the 30 Second Challenge and download the Deckee boating app to be ready for an emergency on board and safe on the water this holiday season.”
After partnering with DoT, the Deckee boating app has new improved WA functionality allowing skippers to check the weather before and during the voyage and access all the safety information they need, particularly when boating in a new location.
DoT implemented the 30 Second Challenge, which tests if people can gather flares, EPIRB, make a radio call and don a lifejacket in 30 seconds, after detailed analysis of incident data showed improved accessibility to safety equipment could limit lives lost on the water.
Tragically, in the last decade to July 2020 there have been 63 recreational boating deaths in WA, including six in the last financial year (2019-20).
“Skippers need to be responsible, taking time to complete the recommended voyage preparation guidelines every time they head out on to the water. Unfortunately, skippers who fail to do this put their safety and that of those on board at risk,” Mr Beattie said.
“Spending time preparing for a safe summer of boating could save your life.”
People can visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/30secondchallenge to find out how to take the challenge.
Deckee is available now for free download from the App Store and Google Play Store. Visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/Deckee to find out more.
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