Thu. May 26th, 2022

Sir. Davey said the majority of people do the right thing on the water, but some people have missed the message and do not have adequate safety equipment with them.

Safety equipment must also be checked regularly, he said, including servicing inflatable life jackets to ensure they are not tested for the first time in an emergency.

Some of the most common sanctions imposed by the NSW Maritime are for not wearing a life jacket ($ 250), not wearing a life jacket for every occupant of a boat ($ 250), speeding fines ($ 100 to $ 250) and driving jet skis without a license ( $ 500).

Kayakers and paddlers are overrepresented in the number of fatalities in water and should wear life jackets.

Kayakers and paddlers are overrepresented in the number of fatalities in water and should wear life jackets.Credit:Rhett Wyman

Other common sanctions include having an unregistered boat where some people get confused and think their boat is registered once its trailer is registered.

A focus on the weekend’s blitz – which continues on Sunday – are kayakers and paddleboarders who are overrepresented in water deaths. Davey said some do not wear life jackets, either because they do not know they should or simply do not want to.

“Some people say ‘I really do not want to wear a life jacket,'” Mr Davey said. “Things like that are where fines can be issued.”

Of the 16 boat-related deaths in NSW in 2021, 13 were not wearing life jackets, and half used a paddle vessel such as a kayak.

A family wearing life jackets gives the thumbs up at Sydney Harbor on Saturday.

A family wearing life jackets gives the thumbs up at Sydney Harbor on Saturday.Credit:Rhett Wyman

Mr. Davey strongly urged people to wear a life jacket at all times, even if they are not required by law.

“If you’re not wearing it, it can not help you – so we’re really driving that message,” he said.

Swimmers have also been urged to be careful in the water this weekend, with NSW having recorded 15 coastal deaths and drowning since December 1 – two more than this time last year.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the deaths, including three stone fishermen, show the need for caution at beaches, pools, rivers and lakes.

“Australia Day is traditionally a high-risk holiday on our waterways,” Perrottet said. “Pay attention to your surroundings and take care of each other.”

NSW CEO of Surf Live Saving Steve Pearce said people should check conditions before swimming, wear a life jacket if fishing on rocks, and remember that “alcohol and water activities do not mix”.

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“We ask all beachgoers to be vigilant and make sure their trip to the beach is one that is remembered for all the right reasons,” Mr Pearce said.

There are expected to be more sailing blitzes this summer, with five nationwide operations normally carried out each year in addition to local enforcement.

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