Danger warning for boaties

Jackson BarettSouth Western Times
DFES are urging people hitting the water over the holiday period to make sure their boat is well maintained.
Camera IconDFES are urging people hitting the water over the holiday period to make sure their boat is well maintained.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has called for boaters to stay safe on the water and stay up-to-date with servicing their vessels as many hit the water over the holiday period.

While the South West has not experienced the same dramatic rise in sea rescue call-outs as northern parts of the State in the past six months, DFES is bracing for a busy few weeks and calling on boaties to do their bit.

The opening of the demersal fishing season earlier this month, warmer weather and the holiday period are set to attract many people on to the water in coming weeks.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said common issues included running out of fuel, mechanical and battery failures and other issues stemming from a general lack of maintenance.

“We know that more people are out on the water this year and we have seen an increase in requests for help for simple but preventable issues with their vessels,” he said.

“If you’re planning to enjoy WA’s coastline this holiday period, it’s imperative that you undertake the proper checks on your vessel and have the right equipment on board before making the trip to the boat ramp.

“Boaters should also make sure they’re carrying enough fuel and that they log on and off with the local marine rescue group or let someone know where they’re going and when they’ll be back.”

There are 37 Marine Rescue groups in Western Australia, run entirely by volunteers.

“All marine rescue personnel are volunteers and sacrifice their own time to respond to calls for help, so by taking the time to properly maintain your vessel you are giving those personnel the best chance to enjoy the summer too,” Mr Klemm said.

Intrastate travel was cited as one of the causes of a 45 per cent increase in sea rescue call-outs in the past six months for the Kimberley, Pilbara and Midwest Gascoyne regions as travellers headed north chasing warmer weather.

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