Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Boat user safety urge

Boat users are being cautioned to slow down and follow the rules of the water after four boat incidents during the past month.

January 17, 2014 3:48am

Goulburn-Murray Water and Transport Safety Victoria issued the warning ahead of the Australia Day long weekend.

G-MW managing director Gavin Hanlon said use of safety equipment and adherence to regulations were a major concern of the two authorities.

‘‘We want you to enjoy the lakes and reservoirs, however there are very real dangers and you must remain vigilant in the use of your safety equipment,’’ Mr Hanlon said.

‘‘Wear your personal flotation device, particularly if you’re in a small vessel or boating by yourself. And if you are boating alone, let someone know where you are and when you will return.’’

G-MW manages several water storages popular with recreational users.

‘‘Local waterway rules and regulations are displayed at each of these water storages. Information on the no boating zones is outlined on signage at public boat ramps and buoys are placed in the water to further aide navigation,’’ he said.

‘‘Waterway rules are in place for the protection of all waterways users, including swimmers and both powered and non-powered boat operators.’’

TSV spokesman Paul Corkill said speed and distance were often key contributing factors in boating collisions.

‘‘It is the obligation of every boat operator to reduce the risk of collision by following the speed and distance rules at all times,’’ Mr Corkill said.

‘‘Regardless of where you are boating, you must stick to the speed limit of five knots when within 50 metres of a swimmer or another vessel. If you are boating on inland waters, you must observe a five knot limit within 50 metres of the water’s edge.’’

Mr Corkill said TSV Maritime Safety Officers would be enforcing the rules and cracking down on boaters doing the wrong thing.

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