Mackay angler Rick Connolly ensures his son, Jack, is ready to go fishing.
Mackay angler Rick Connolly ensures his son, Jack, is ready to go fishing. Peter Holt

Stay safe on the water

SALT-CRUSTED mariners take heed.

With silly season almost upon us marine authorities want you to survive this summer and have offered some timely tips.

Senior Constable Neil MacMillan, of Whitsunday Water Police said boaties, on the whole, were well behaved in his district.

But with cyclone season upon us there were extra responsibilities and precautions boat owners needed to take.

"Now is the time for boaters to get out there and check moorings," Snr Const MacMillan said.

"Each year we are seeing more boats dragging their anchor or mooring and this is becoming an issue."

Boat owners should also have a friend or relative look after their vessel if they were planning to be away over the holiday period, he said.

Moored boats also needed to display an anchor light.

Water police will be strongly enforcing this policy.

Speeding is another thing they will be watching for.

Snr Const MacMillan said people needed to slow down and travel no faster than 6 knots in marinas.

"This includes the entrance to the marina and around moored boats," he said.

Whitsunday VMR unit training co-ordinator Geoff Fitzsimmons said a major problem was people not maintaining boats between outings.

"Come holiday time or weekends they jump in and go and that's when the trouble starts," he said.

"But with some basic checks and maintenance the boating experience will be a lot safer and happier."

Rescue volunteers often assisted boaties who headed out without enough fuel, he said.

Mr Fitzsimmons also recommended boaties spend a minimum amount of time on the boat ramp to prevent "ramp rage".

"Prepare the boat in the rigging lane, particularly if it hasn't been off the trailer for a period of time," he said.

The seasoned salt said he had often seen tempers flare on the region's boat ramps.

But he said with courtesy and planning ramp rage was preventable.



  •  Check your battery
  •  Ensure you have clean, fresh fuel before you head to sea
  •  Log on with VMR or tell someone where you are going
  •  Remember to log off when you return
  •  Have a lifejacket for every person on board
  •  Check dates on flares and safety gear
  •  Stick to 6 knots in marinas and around moored craft
  •  Think about what you drink - the 0.05% limit applies on the water

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