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Obey speed limits and stay safe on the Murray

15 May 2014

Boat operators are reminded to obey speed limits and adhere to the safety requirements while enjoying the River Murray over the Easter period.

A/Manager of Marine Operations and Response, Peter Thomas said reports are often received of high speed vessels passing close to smaller vessels such as canoes, kayaks and open boats, creating dangerous wash that has the capacity to dump the occupants or capsize their vessel.

“Larger vessels moored along the river banks such as houseboats can also be easily damaged by the wash of a boat passing too close at the wrong speed,” said Mr Thomas.

The following speed limits apply to all vessels including ski boats, wakeboard boats and personal watercraft:
- 4 knot speed limit within 30 metres of a jetty, wharf or other place at which a vessel is being removed from the water or placed in the water, or of a vessel that may be adversely affected by the wash of the vessel
- 4 knot speed limit at all times when in or travelling through a mooring area
- 4 knot speed limit within 50 metres of swimmers or a person in or on a kayak, canoe or similar unpowered craft
- 4 knot speed limit within 100 metre of a ferry crossing
- 4 knot speed limit applies to all personal watercraft (commonly called a jet ski) when operating in all creeks, tributaries, lakes, lagoons and other bodies of water connected to the River Murray

“You should always consider the impact the speed of your vessel has on other river users,” he said.

“Always drive your slowly when visibility is low; that is, at night and in rain, fog, mist, smoke or glare.

Penalties apply to anyone who decides to ignore the speed limits, including a maximum of two years imprisonment if you are convicted of operating a vessel at a dangerous speed or in a dangerous manner.

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