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Summer Boating Safety Reminder

Friday 21 December, 2012

As summer heats up Parks Victoria is reminding recreational boat operators to stay safe on Port Phillip and Western Port this summer.

“Port Phillip and Western Port are great destinations for people looking to get out and enjoy the great outdoors over the summer holidays.” said Parks Victoria A/Chief Ranger Will Cox.

“As a vessel operator you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others in your care. Conditions can change rapidly so it’s important to be prepared and abide by the regulations which exist to ensure everyone on the water has a safe and enjoyable bay experience.”

A boat operator should always:

  • Check the latest conditions before leaving including weather forecasts, tide predictions and warnings 
  • Slow down to 5 knots or less within 50m of a swimmer, diver or structure.
  • Observe all speed limits and boating zones including 5 knot speed zones within 200m of shore.
  • Never mix drinking alcohol and operating a vessel. Operators over 21 must have a BAC of less than .05 
  • Ensure all people on your vessel are wearing an approved life jacket or buoyancy vest/garment.
  • Know the local rules, regulations and distress signals including Marine National Park and Sanctuary boundaries and restrictions.
  • Keep well clear of moving ships and maintain a safe distance between other vessels 
  • Call dial 000 in an emergency, channel 88 on 27MHz or channel 16 on VHF radio to access police and emergency services

Boating regulations apply to all boat operators including motor boats, sail boats, yachts, canoes, personal water crafts (jet skis), kite boards, sail boards and kayaks.

“Parks Victoria and the Water Police will be patrolling Port Phillip and Western Port to ensure boat operators are being responsible and abiding by safety regulations throughout summer.”

Parks Victoria is also currently upgrading boating and swimming zone in the Werribee to Williamstown, Mornington Peninsula and northern Phillip Island areas to further increase safety on the water.

A full safety checklist is available in the Port Phillip and Western Port Recreational Boating Guides which is available for free by calling the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963

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