Alcohol and water don’t mix: Southern 80 alcohol charges
Six men lost their boat licences and received fines ranging from $300 to $800 after exceeding the alcohol limit while boating on the Murray River during the Southern 80 waterski weekend.
NSW Maritime Murray/ Inland Regional Manager Scott Kidd said the six had been operating boats in separate incidents on the Murray River during the Southern 80 waterski weekend in early February.
“All six were arrested in a joint operation carried out by NSW Maritime and Police from the Deniliquin Local Area Command,” Mr Kidd said.
Each man faced the Moama local court on March 18 where the charges were upheld. Boat licence disqualification and fines varied according to how far each was over the 0.05 blood alcohol limit.
• 30-year-old North Geelong man – $400 fine and 3 month boat driver’s licence disqualification
• 24-year-old Yallambie man – $800 fine and 8 month boat driver’s licence disqualification
• 32-year-old Cardinia man – $700 fine and 6 month boat driver’s licence disqualification
• 27-year-old Tongala man – $700 fine and 12 month boat driver’s licence disqualification
• 41-year-old Teasdale man (high range PCA) – $800 fine and 12 month boat driver’s licence disqualification
• 26-year-old Gowanbrae man – $300 fine and 3 month boat driver’s licence disqualification
Mr Kidd said the annual Southern 80 warterski racing weekend was a popular event which drew many spectators – on the water and the shoreline.
“Prior to the event, NSW Maritime made a public plea for skippers to ‘go easy on the drink’ and stay under the 0.05 blood alcohol limit.
“It is disappointing to know that some boat operators were not doing the right thing – by themselves, their passengers and other boaters.
“The wind, waves and sun combine to multiply the effects of alcohol, so its effects are greater when you are out on the water – meaning your chances of having an accident and drowning are increased.
“Another sobering fact is that studies in Australia and New Zealand show alcohol has been a factor in a third of all boating fatalities,” Mr Kidd said.