SKIPPERS from Lancelin to Geraldton are being reminded to check they have in-date flares and ensure all their safety gear is in good working order and readily accessible in an emergency.
This is the message from the Department of Transport (DoT) as it prepares the Marine Safety Education Trailer to visit the region early next month, providing tips on safe boating.
DoT safety education manager Laurie Adams said the high number of vessels going to sea with out-of-date flares was a concerning trend identified during safety compliance checks conducted over summer from Lancelin to Geraldton.
“In-date flares are required safety equipment for boating in open waters and skippers who fail to carry them are risking their lives,” he said.
“While in the region education officers will be reinforcing the importance of having the correct safety equipment in good working order and will be advocating skippers and passengers take the 30 Second Challenge which tests readiness for an emergency response on board a vessel.”
The initiative tests if people can gather flares, EPIRB, make a radio call and don a lifejacket in 30 seconds.
People can visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/30secondchallenge to find out how to take the challenge.
Mr Adams said DoT would also bring its very successful Old4New lifejacket upgrade to the area.
The Old4New program, delivered in conjunction with the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia, is an upgrade opportunity where old, damaged, obsolete or foam filled lifejackets can be exchanged for a voucher for use at a local retail outlet when purchasing a new lifejacket.
Skippers can take the 30 Second Challenge, get an Old4New lifejacket upgrade, see how to use flares and learn more about safe boating at the Jurien Bay volunteer marine rescue centre tower from 2pm to 5pm on Wednesday, May 2, Leeman volunteer marine rescue headquarters from 9.30am to 10am n Thursday, May 3, the Geraldton town ramp from 8am to 9am Friday May 4, the Geraldton Boat, Caravan and Camping Show on May 5-6 and Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue from 5pm to 6pm on Monday, May 7.
DoT officers will also be visiting schools in the region as part of the Junior Crew program.
Voucher limits and restrictions are in place to ensure the benefits of the program apply to as many vessels as possible so people who want to participate should check the guidelines at www.transport.wa.gov.au/lifejackets
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