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DPTI Media Release - stay safe on the water this boating season

18 Nov 2016

With the weather finally warming up and the summer boating season underway boaters should take the opportunity to check all the safety equipment on their boats before taking to the water.

Paul Gelston, Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has urged boaters to wear lifejackets and check that their boat has all of the required safety equipment before heading out on any waterway.

"Many people may have had boats in storage over the cooler months so please make sure to double check flares and emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) and life jackets are not expired before heading out in your boat.

"With many school leavers heading to the beach or river over the next two weeks to celebrate the end of exams it is a timely reminder to not mix alcohol and drugs with water, including if operating a boat or motorised vessel, such as a jet ski or powerboat, or surfing and canoeing.

"Motorised boats are required by South Australian law to carry lifejackets for every person on board.

"We would ask all boaters to remember that you can’t put a price on safety and getting home alive, your lifejacket is better on you than in your boat.

"Although not compulsory, I would encourage every person to wear a lifejacket while out on the water.

"Lifejackets should be in good condition and not have any tears, cuts or any straps that are frayed.

"With recent higher flows on the River Murray and other inland waterways please be mindful of hazards and fast flowing water, debris may be hidden from view including submerged trees, shallow sandbars and other snags.

"Some other safety tips to help keep you safe, particularly on the River Murray, include minding your boat wash and keeping your distance from other vessels while remembering to keep your distance in front of busy reserves.

"Before you head out on the water please keep up to date with marine weather warnings and general weather warnings at www.bom.gov.au and make sure you check your boat registration is current and affixed near the steering position," said Mr Gelston.

Reports of dangerous activity, or river hazards can be reported to the Murray Watch phone line on 8531 0710.

Boaters are strongly encouraged to refresh their knowledge before going out on the water by reading the SA Recreational Boating Handbook, or practising the boat licence test online at www.ondeck.sa.gov.au.

Boaters can keep up to date with any changes to regulations around waterways by visiting www.sa.gov.au/topics/boating-and-marine