A rise in jet-ski use and general compliance issues have kept NSW Maritime Officers busy over the summer holidays.
NSW Roads and Maritime Boating Safety officer Phil Kearney told the Yarrawonga Chronicle that Lake Mulwala and the waterways around Bundalong have again been very busy over the summer holidays and was concerned about general non-compliance by boat users.
“We have seen a lot of issues around towing of persons, the amount of persons being towed and the age of the drivers towing,” Mr Kearney said
“We urge people to read the handbook and familiarise themselves with NSW RMS regulations.
“We also had an awful lot of boat users not carrying their licence. They have to have their licence on them.”
Mr Kearney said he has also seen a rise in PWC use on the lake.
“There are more jet skiers this summer. It’s busy and we expect it to again build up for the Australia Day long weekend where we will be out patrolling each day.
“We urge people to make sure the driver, observer and skier are under the blood alcohol limit of .05.”
Mr Kearney said many people may not be aware that all three are legally required to be under the limit of .05.
“We have a lot of people who have said it’s there first time up here, so we encourage them to grab a navigational map of Lake Mulwala which is Map 19 on our website and also familiarise themselves with NSW boating regulations.
“We also encourage our fishos to have their life jackets serviced every 12 months. They can find how they can do this on our website.
“Visitors from Victoria should check NSW rules before heading out on the Murray River as there are some differences in laws between states.”
Last summer NSW Maritime reminded PWC users, after a rise in penalty notices, that illegal irregular riding of craft close to residential areas was a concern.
PWCs may only operate on NSW waters during daylight hours and irregular riding, such as turns and jumps, may not be conducted within 200m of residential areas or other built-up foreshore areas.
Mr Kearney said the 4-knot zone introduced in the Bundalong Lagoon before Christmas has been met with “a very positive response”.
He also praised new facilities built around the lake including those at the Majors Creek boat ramp area.
“We are finding people with bigger wakeboard boats utilising the Major’s Creek facility where there are good areas on the river for them to use.
“But we still want remind boat users that they are responsible for their wake and penalties can apply,” Mr Kearney said.
Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is also reminding people visiting its storages for recreational activities to be safe on the water.
General Manager Water Storage Services Martina Cusack said the water corporation managed recreational and boating activities at some of its storages and is urging safe use by people who visit the storages for boating, fishing and swimming.
“Please remember basic safety when it comes to visiting our water storages,” Ms Cusack said.
“Boat operators should always wear personal flotation devices, maintain a lookout for hazards and other users at all times and manage their boating activities to suit local conditions.”
GMW also reminds recreation users to visit their website at www.gmwater.com.au to see the most recent Blue-Green Algae Alerts.
For more information on boating safety go to www.rms.nsw.gov.au
or for more information about recreation at GMW storages, or to obtain a storage boating guide, go to www.gmwater.com.au/recreation-tourism.