Call for Bunbury residents to leave boats home

Ailish DelaneyBunbury Herald

Bunbury boatees have been encouraged to anchor at home for the time being for the benefit of the wider community, a message that received mixed responses.

Marine Safety WA on Facebook recommended recreational boating activities be postponed or cancelled for now.

“It’s important for WA’s boating community to do its part in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and avoid unnecessary boating activity,” it read.

The post received mass public backlash, with most comments from unhappy fishing fans who questioned the stance, some calling it “absolutely ridiculous”.

Bunbury Power Boat Club committee member Luke Mott said it was about doing what was right for the community.

“I love my fishing and I’d love to go out every day, but realistically you’ve got to think about what everyone wants, not just what you want,” Mr Mott said.

I’d rather stay home for the next month or two and then hopefully it’s all done and dusted and we can carry on with our lives.

Luke Mott

Mr Mott said the club had shut down and cancelled all events and competitions because it was not worth the risk.

“I’ve got a daughter with one kidney so she’s high risk, so we’re at home trying to limit our outside interaction at the moment,” he said.

A Department of Transport spokesman recommended people not go on their boats if they did not need to.

“Given the current pandemic, the State of Emergency and advice from the State and Commonwealth governments on gatherings, social distancing of at least 1.5 metres and non-essential activities, if you can stay at home — stay home,” he said.

“Non-essential activities should be postponed or cancelled.”

Mr Mott said he was just as sad as everybody else, but the more everyone isolated now the sooner things would go back to normal.

You’d hate to give it to your grandparents or something because you’d been going out on the boat.

Luke Mott

Mr Mott said everyone needed to be on the same page.

“It’s all well and good to go out and you’re isolated on your boat, but it’s the interaction before you get to that and on your way home that you can’t limit,” he said.

“If your boat breaks down, who comes to get you? It puts other people at risk.”

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