NSW Maritime officers targeted offshore boating safety at the weekend conducting an operation codenamed Blue Water at local boat ramps.
Boating Safety officers focused on launch sites near 40 coastal bars in NSW, ensuring boats were carrying safety equipment such as lifejackets.
“Crossing a coastal bar requires skill, experience, knowledge of the vessel and proper assessment of the conditions,” NSW Maritime general manager operations Howard Glenn said.
“A skipper who does not plan and prepare for a crossing is inviting trouble.
“Coastal bars are dynamic boating environments due to the constantly changing combination of wind, waves, currents, tides and shoals.”
To assist skippers in planning for a crossing, NSW Maritime provides live video footage and weather data of 16 of the most popular coastal bars.
Mr Glenn said skippers heading to sea should log on and off with the volunteers of Marine Rescue NSW and if heading more than two nautical miles offshore the boat must carry a 406 MhZ EPIR distress signalling beacon.
NSW Maritime’s bar webcams can be viewed at http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/webcams/web-cam.html.