Skippers’ comments sought for review

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Boat owners can have their say in a safety review and participate in an online survey.

RECREATIONAL skippers can take part in the first review of recreational boat safety equipment requirements in 25 years, according to the McGowan Government.

The review will involve public consultation to examine what safety equipment will be required on recreational vessels in Western Australia.

Since the last review in 1992 of the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958, there have been a number of changes to technology, the boating population and to national and international equipment standards.

In recent years there have been a concerning amount of injuries and fatalities, with 25 lives lost due to recreational boating accidents in the past four years.

The Department of Transport will conduct a two-stage consultation process, with the release of the Recreational Vessel Safety Equipment Discussion Paper – Summary, which raises key issues impacting on current and possible new safety equipment requirements.

Safety equipment is required for the 100,000 recreational vessels registered in WA and the growing number of different types of personal watercraft, sailboards, paddleboats and sail boats in specified areas of operation.

Safety equipment items under review include lifesaving appliances (survival craft and buoyancy aids such as lifejackets), communication devices such as radios and distress signalling sheets, navigation equipment (compasses and global positioning systems), equipment to extinguish or control fire, miscellaneous equipment such as first aid, lighting, paddles, bilge pumps and anchors and distress signals such as emergency position indicating radio beacons, personal locator beacons and red hand held flares, red parachute rockets and orange smoke signals.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said feedback received as part of the first phase of the review would be used to formulate changes to the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 that would be the subject of the second phase of consultation.

“The aim of the review is to enhance the safety of people on the water without reducing the participation rate or imposing unreasonable costs on those who enjoy boating,’’ she said.

Comments on the discussion paper need to be made by close of business on Monday, July 10.

To view the discussion paper or participate in the online survey, visit http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/safetyequipmentreview