by Ken McManus
Easter and Anzac day long weekends - Marine Rescue NSW has urged boaters taking an extended break over the coming Easter and Anzac day long weekends to make safety on the water their priority.
Good preparation prevents most mechanical breakdowns
Commissioner Stacey Tannos said volunteers would be on duty at MRNSW units along the coastline and inland on the Alpine Lakes and Murray River at Moama over the dual long weekends.
'This will be a great chance for boaters to get out on the water before putting their boat into hibernation for the winter lay-off,' he said.
'Boaters should be confident our members will be out patrolling popular waterways, keeping watch and ready to respond to emergencies on the water.'
Commissioner Tannos encouraged boaters to take four simple safety precautions to help increase their chances of a trouble-free journey – and of being rescued should the worst happen.
1. Check your vessel is in good working order before heading out on the water.
Check your battery is fully charged. Check fuel, oil and coolant levels. Ensure you have sufficient fuel supplies on board and check your trailer wheels and bearings.
2. Ensure everyone on board is wearing their lifejacket. A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water but it can help save your life if you are wearing it. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly, often without giving you time to find and put on your lifejacket. Putting on your lifejacket as soon as you step on board is the best insurance policy.
3. Log On and Log Off with your nearest Marine Rescue unit.
Call or radio your nearest MRNSW unit to let the volunteers know where you’re headed, the number of people on board and when you expect to return. This means someone responsible knows you’re out there and can move quickly to look for you if you don’t return as scheduled.
4. Know your position so you can guide rescuers to you in an emergency.
Many boats have GPS equipment but you can keep track of where you are by noting your compass direction as you travelled from port to where you called for help, how long it took to get there and the speed at which you were travelling.
If you need help on the water, radio or phone MRNSW for help. In a life-threatening emergency, immediately call Triple Zero and make a MAYDAY call on your marine radio.