Skippers set 30 second challenge

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In an emergency on the water 30 seconds can be all the time skippers and passengers have to grab life-saving safety equipment, according to the Department of Transport.

SKIPPERS are being encouraged to take the 30 Second Challenge and get safe boating advice at the Two Rocks boat harbour later this month.

In an emergency on the water 30 seconds can be all the time skippers and passengers have to grab life-saving safety equipment so the Department of Transport wants those heading this summer to be prepared.

The 30 Second Challenge tests readiness for an emergency response on board a vessel.

The department’s safety education manager Laurie Adams said safety gear needed to be well maintained and easily accessible if it was to be effective in an emergency situation.

Mr Adams said there were 13 recreational boating fatalities recorded in WA in the 2016-2017 financial year – a record high and triple the recent annual average of four deaths.

“This initiative, which tests if people can gather flares, EPIRB, make a radio call and don a lifejacket in 30 seconds, responds to the detailed analysis of incident data which showed that better maintenance of safety gear and improved accessibility could have limited the number of tragedies last year,’’ he said.

“In the lead up to the boating season we want skippers and those who go boating to take the challenge and test their readiness in an emergency.

“Hopefully people who do so will learn from the exercise and make changes if required.

“The importance of safety gear can never be overstated – tragically eight of the 13 deaths (62 per cent) on WA waters last year may have been prevented if the person had been wearing a lifejacket when they entered the water.”

The 30 Second Challenge will be held on Thursday, November 23 between 8am and 10am at the Two Rocks boat harbour.

People can visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/30secondchallenge to find out how to take the  challenge then like MarineSafetyWA on Facebook to upload it.