31 March 2014
Tourists who follow the weather to the west coast of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula are reminded to check conditions and local safety rules before launching their boats.
Each year between February and April the calm and warm weather attracts visitors to picturesque towns along the west coast, such as Coffin Bay, Ceduna, Venus Bay and Streaky Bay.
Many are part of the grey nomad phenomenon and travel with caravans and four-wheel-drives.
With small boats often strapped to roofs, the group has earned the nickname the ‘tinnie brigade’.
The small boats are a great way to enjoy the area, however because of the size users are vulnerable, said local safety officer, Hank Swalue.
“Conditions on the Great Australian Bight can get pretty rough pretty quickly,” he said.
“Before launching people need to get advice from locals, check weather conditions and make sure they have all the required safety gear”.
“Safety items that must be carried can vary between states so it’s important they check the rules in South Australia before launching.”
In South Australia the safety equipment needed depends on the size of the boat and where the boat is going.
In South Australia all waters off of the coast or subject to tidal influence are semi or unprotected waters, which means more safety equipment is needed than that required for protected waters.
A list of what’s required and where can be seen on the carrying suitable safety equipment page.
In addition to the safety risks, fines of up to $460 can be issued for non-compliance.