Time to get sea ready

As the days get longer and warmer, many boat owners will make the most of the local fishing and water sports.

It is a must, however, that boat owners prepare their boats properly for the summer boating season.

Owners who have not used their vessel over the winter time are asked to check that everything is in order before launching.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) Marine Coordinator, Philip Moffatt said that the first priority should be to give your boat the once over to prevent any incidents and ensure it is seaworthy.

“Check the electrical system, fuel tank, fuel lines and battery and test that the engine is working properly, and remember to replace the fuel if you have not used the vessel over the winter months.

“Boaters often give more attention to their fishing gear than to their safety equipment that they rely upon should they get into trouble on the water,“ he said.

Mr Moffat explains that checking safety equipment is a must before boarding.

“Inspect all safety equipment for any signs of deterioration or damage, the expiry dates of flares and the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and remember to test your EPIRB and the waterproof torch,” he said.

Mr Moffatt also stresses that boaters should undertake a vessel and equipment safety check before commencing every trip and safety should be each boater’s priority to prevent trouble

“Always check for the latest weather report with the Bureau of Meteorology before finalising your plans, check that you have the required safety equipment for the area of operation on board and that you tell someone your trip plans and safe return, and if you have a marine radio, log on and log off with the local VMR group,” he said.

Free copies of the South Australian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, the Personal Watercraft  Safety Reference Guide or the Kayaks and Canoes Safety Reference Guide please phone 1300 183 046 or email dpti.recreationalboatingunit@sa.gov.au.

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