Men in small boats most at-risk on NSW waterways

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Transport for NSW is urging boaters to brush up on maritime safety, especially male boaters given they made up all boat fatalities in 2014/15 according to statistics released today.

According to the latest 2014/15 statistics, small craft such as tinnies which are more susceptible to capsizing made up around two thirds of boat fatalities.

The Boating incidents in New South Wales – Statistical Statement 2014-15 also showed fatalities had doubled from the previous year while serious injuries were higher than the long term average.

In total, 16 people were killed and 82 seriously injured on NSW waterways in the last reporting year.

“While the number of boating fatalities is up by 8 from the previous year, this figure remains in line with the long term average and continues an overall downwards trend in number of fatal incidents,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.

“However, serious injuries were 26 per cent above the long term average, highlighting the need for boaters to stay up-to-date with the latest maritime safety campaigns.

“Our key boating safety message, ‘you’re the skipper, you’re responsible’, urges skippers to look after the safety of everyone on-board, for example, by ensuring everyone is wearing a lifejacket.

“The majority of deaths occur when people are forced into the water, underscoring the need for everyone to wear a modern lifejacket every time they go boating.”

The importance of wearing a lifejacket is supported by long term data – people not wearing lifejackets still account for around 90 per cent of drowning deaths.

Bad weather is another major factor in boating deaths, contributing to more than 40 per cent of all recreational boating fatalities in 2014-15.

“Boaters need to check weather reports both before and during their trip as rough seas and strong winds can endanger lives,” the spokesperson said.

“Inclement weather can also affect moored boats – strong winds in April caused a spike in incidents involving moored vessels, serving as a reminder for mooring holders to regularly inspect their mooring gear.

“Many people love getting out on the water over the summer months so it’s important everyone refresh their safety knowledge through the busy period.”

More information on boating safety can be found in the Boating Handbook available on www.rms.nsw.gov.au Image removed.​.

The full Boating incidents in New South Wales – Statistical Statement 2014-15 can be found on:

www.transport.nsw.gov.au/nsw-boating-incidents-2014-15.