A new maritime enforcement team will hit Queensland waters this summer to help stem a rise in boating incidents.
The team of specially trained Maritime Safety Queensland officers rolled out across the south east on October 4, which started its mission on Gold Coast waterways.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said skippers are responsible for their safety and the safety of others around them, including family members and friends.
“Queenslanders love the water. And why not? We’ve got perfect weather, boating conditions and the State Government is investing more than $100 million in boatie infrastructure,” Mr Bailey said.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen the number of fatal marine incidents on the rise, and with the summer boating season still ahead of us, this safety campaign couldn’t come at a better time."
War on Wreck Chair and Member for Redlands Kim Richards said the maritime team will be supported by compliance partners from Queensland Water Police and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol.
“They will be out on personal watercraft taking the safety message directly to boaties wherever they’re operating," Ms Richards said.
“This campaign is a combination of education and enforcement – so there’s no excuse for putting your life and the lives of others in danger.
“If people aren’t doing the right thing, you can expect hefty fines.
They will run over the next 12 months and include inland waterways with the support of Seqwater.
“Wherever and whenever the teams operate, they will be a highly visible presence on the water and a physical reminder to skippers of their safety obligations.”
In 2018, the Brisbane management area received 53 marine incident reports involving 82 vessels (73 Queensland regulated ships and nine domestic commercial vessels). There were 18 people injured in these 53 incidents including one fatality and four hospital admissions.
The Gold Coast management area received 83 marine incident reports involving 125 vessels (115 Queensland regulated ships and 10 domestic commercial vessels). Twenty-nine people were injured in these 83 incidents including 16 who were admitted to hospital.
The Sunshine Coast management area received 36 marine incidents reports involving 54 vessels (51 Queensland regulated ships and three domestic commercial vessels). Nine people were injured in these 36 incidents including four who were admitted to hospital.
Human factors were the most significant contributor to many incidents which frequently happened on smooth water, with good visibility in clear weather.