Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Acting General Manager Boating Operations Scott Kidd has announced a campaign to improve awareness of boating safety requirements for those heading offshore is under way on NSW waters.
'Operation Blue Water involves Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Boating Safety Officers (BSO) conducting random offshore vessel safety checks,' Mr Kidd said.
'The aim is to improve boat operator awareness of the safety equipment and communications requirements when operating offshore.
'Boating beyond enclosed waters requires a different skill set and increased knowledge. It may seem obvious, but skippers need to ensure they have the required skills to operate in open waters.
'Skippers need to ensure their vessels are appropriate for the conditions and in good working order.
'It is crucial all skippers check the weather and sea conditions before planning an offshore trip.
'Crossing a coastal bar requires experience and should only be considered when the conditions are favourable.
'BSO are also checking all people on board any kind of recreational vessel crossing a coastal bar are wearing an appropriate lifejacket for safety reasons - or face a hefty fine.
'Those heading offshore should above all remember the safety benefits of logging their trip with the coastal radio network. At the very least tell a family member or friend where you are going and when you expect to be back,' Mr Kidd said.
The two week campaign finishes 24 February.
More at http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/offshore.html