ON WATCH: Police and RMS personnel are continuing Operation Safety First until this Sunday.
ON WATCH: Police and RMS personnel are continuing Operation Safety First until this Sunday. Rob Wright

Boating safety campaign wraps up this weekend

KEEPING boaters out of trouble and saving lives is the object as Operation Safety First continues in NSW coastal waters.

Police and RMS vessels are focusing on compliance with safe boating laws relating to towing, speeding and wash with the operation continuing until sundown this Sunday. 

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said the last days of summer continue to be popular for waterskiing, wake boarding, knee boarding and tubing.

"It is crucial safety comes first for all involved,” he said.

"There are a few absolute basics when it comes to towing such as always ensuring anyone being towed is wearing a lifejacket, the observer is fully aware of their responsibilities and above all, the skipper is always responsible for all personnel.

"The vessel must have a minimum crew of two made up of the person driving and an observer who sits facing the direction of the person being towed to provide any communication, via standard hand signals, about what is going on in the water.

"The observer also tells the driver about other vessels approaching from behind, must be at least 16 years old and appropriately qualified as the holder of a boat or personal water craft licence.

"It is illegal to tow more than three people and it is crucial all safe distances from other vessels, structures such as bridges, piers and the shore, and most importantly, people who are swimming, diving or snorkelling, are observed.

"Breaches of these regulations will result in on the spot fines.”

Boating safety officers will also be on the lookout for boaties who are speeding or whose wash is having a negative impact on other waterway users.



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