Accidents ‘a very real hazard’ for boating enthusiasts

Date: Mar 11, 2015

People who enjoy boating have been urged to follow safety regulations and be aware of potential dangers while out on the water.

Transport for NSW and the Boating Industry Association (BIA) teamed up for the Sydney Trailer Boat Show last weekend (March 8 and 9), with the organisations keen to promote innovative safety measures at the event. 

BIA President Alan Blake claimed 2 million individuals go out boating annually in the state, with trailer boats often the vessel of choice for people who want an affordable option that is easy to store, fit out and maintain.

"The Sydney Trailer Boat Show is a great place to find out all there is to know about the most popular type of vessel for people across Australia."

Maritime Management Centre General Manager Howard Glenn stated there are 250,00 registered vessels in New South Wales.

"Boating is a relatively safe activity but accidents can and do happen, and boats under 4.8 metres are more susceptible to capsize, swamping and falls overboard than larger craft," he explained.

"The reality is accidents can and do happen. There is [a] way, however, to help make every day out in a small boat a great day and that is to wear a lifejacket."

Preventing boating accidents

People who hurt themselves during a boating accident may be eligible for public liability compensation, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

For example, if you have hired a boat for the day and you are injured because of problems with the vessel or a third party, you could have a legitimate claim.

However, the best way to prevent boating injuries is to follow safety guidelines and ensure everyone on-board is aware of what to do if an accident occurs.

At the Sydney Trailer Boat Show, Transport for NSW and BIA advertised the benefits of the latest lifejackets. They said it was important to dispel the myth that these garments are bulky and uncomfortable.

"Evolution in form and function means there is a modern lifejacket for everybody that can be worn in comfort for the duration of a typical day out in a boat," Mr Glenn explained.

The Roads and Maritime Services stand at the Sydney event had an Old4New van where people could ask questions about the best boating safety gear. The Old4New campaign is designed to raise awareness of new slim-fitting lifejackets.   

While products weren't actually on sale, representatives did conduct demonstrations on how to care for, maintain and service lifejackets.

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