Boaties raise safety issues

Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter

The State Government’s proposed changes to recreational boating safety measures has raised concern with boaties in the South West.

The position paper proposed no mandated safety equipment for any vessel in protected waters or within 400m of shore in unprotected waters and was released for public consultation last month.

Harvey Districts Water Sports Association fishing club commodore Grant Huxtable said no mandatory safety equipment within 400m of shore or in sheltered waters was dangerous.

“We actually discussed these changes at our community meeting last Monday,” Mr Huxtable said.

“The biggest issue for me personally is not having to have safety gear in any vessel up to 400m in unprotected waters.

“You can get into just as much trouble in shore as you can out at any waterway.”

Mr Huxtable suggested the changes could be in place to suit personal watercraft.

“I get the feeling they are trying to change the rules to suit stand-up paddle boards and personal watercraft,” he said.

“If you’re in a normal boat and you’re out at 400m, it can be very deep, and the sea can be just as rough and dangerous in close as it is out deep, so the rules should apply for anywhere in a boat.

“Regardless of these changes I will be making sure I comply with the strictest requirements and take all necessary safety measures.”

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