Boat owners are urged to make sure their vessels are ship shape ahead of Easter.
Boat owners are urged to make sure their vessels are ship shape ahead of Easter.

Skippers reminded to have an Easter break not a breakdown

GREAT fishing off the Coffs Coast makes the Easter weekend one of the most popular on the water for the year.  

As many boaties take the chance to get out on the water for a few days before the cooler months set in, they've being urged to make safety their priority.   

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said boaters should take four simple safety precautions to help increase their chances of a trouble-free Easter journey - and of being rescued should the worst happen.

  1. Check your vessel is in good working order before heading out on the water.

"You want to make sure you have a great Easter break, not a break down, on the water," he said.

"Check your battery is fully charged. Check fuel, oil and coolant levels. Ensure you have sufficient fuel supplies on board.  Check trailer wheels and bearings."

  1. Ensure everyone on board is wearing their lifejacket.

"A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water but it can help save your life if you are wearing it. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly, often without giving you time to find and put on your lifejacket.

"Putting on your lifejacket as soon as you step on board is the best insurance policy."

  1. Log On and Log Off with your nearest Marine Rescue unit.

"Provide us with details of your boat, the number of people on board, intended destination and expected return time.

This gives you the peace of mind of knowing someone responsible knows you're out there and can move quickly to look for you if you don't return as scheduled," he said.

  1. Know your position so you can guide rescuers to you in an emergency.

"Many boats have GPS equipment but you can keep track of where you are by noting your compass direction as you travelled from port to where you called for help, how long it took to get there and the speed at which you were travelling," Commissioner Tannos said.

"These basic steps will help you, your family and friends to have an enjoyable break on the water this Easter.

"If, despite these precautions, you do find yourself in strife, Marine Rescue volunteers are standing by, ready to help you. Radio or phone Marine Rescue. In a life-threatening emergency call 000."

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With 57 stores nationally the retailer has identified Coffs as a growth area.