Extra caution in boats is called for over the holidays

NSW Maritime has issued a call for extra care following the loss of two lives in two separate boating incidents over the past two days in the Murray Inland Region.

NSW Maritime Regional Manager Scott Kidd said boaters need to take care at all times when afloat on the regions rivers, lakes and dams.

“On Christmas eve a swimmer was killed in a prop strike incident at Moama when he was hit by a powerboat,” Mr Kidd said.

“On Christmas day a man went missing on Lake Hume when the small punt he was in capsized in choppy conditions and found deceased earlier today by divers.

“This is a tragic loss of life in separate incidents involving boats where people were out enjoying themselves and our thoughts go out to the family and friends of both victims.”

Mr Kidd said NSW Maritime was assisting Police who are leading the investigations into both incidents to prepare reports for the Coroner.

“The details of both incidents are still being compiled but it is important to remind all skippers of the need for care and caution at all times,” he said.

“At this time of year, there are typically more boats and more people in the water. So it is a time when skippers need to be responsible and particularly attentive to rules and regulations for safe boating.”

At Moama on 24 December a 45-year-old Canberra man was swimming across the Murray River when he was hit by a passing ski boat. The boat’s propeller struck the man and he was airlifted to Melbourne but died later that day as a result of his injuries.

At Lake Hume yesterday a punt was carrying three males about 200m from shore when it capsized in windy and choppy conditions. Two males were rescued but a 34-year-old Albury man, who was reported as not wearing a lifejacket, went missing and was found earlier today by divers.

Mr Kidd some important safety tips are:

  • Keep a proper lookout at all times
  • Keep clear of swimmers, obstructions, the shore and other craft
  • Carry a lifejacket for all on board and wear it at times of heightened risk like when conditions get rough, when alone or at night
  • Go easy and keep under 0.05, and
  • Remember – care, courtesy and common sense.

More safety advice can be found at www.maritime.nsw.gov.au