Marine Safety Initiatives Under the Spotlight
National and international experts will outline the latest developments impacting on the recreational boating industry at the Marine Safety Conference to be held in Adelaide between 26- 29 May this year.
More than 300 delegates are expected to attend the conference, where they will discuss a range of legislative, technical, training, product, environmental and research initiatives.
During the opening plenary session, Steven Wills from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, UK will be discussing how safe recreational boating is in the UK, and will share lessons learnt with delegates.
The conference’s recreational boating stream will feature the results of a review of New Zealand’s recreational boating strategy, to be detailed by Maritime New Zealand representatives. Principal among these is the introduction of legislation to make the carriage of communications equipment on board all recreational craft mandatory as well as ensuring that boats are fitted with buoyancy to achieve level floatation.
The recreational boat stream will also include addresses on safety and training attitudes and boating safety for children.
The Australian Builders Plate for Recreational boats (ABP), introduced in most states either through legislation or as a registration requirement, will also be in focus at the conference.
“As with any new standard, its practical implementation has focussed attention on the technical details and our presentation will centre on the application of the ABP,” explained conference organiser and National Marine Safety Committee CEO Ms Maurene Horder.
The ABP is a national marine safety initiative for new recreational boats sold in Australia and details: the maximum power outboard that can be safety used, the maximum number of people that can be carried on board, the total safe maximum load, and buoyancy performance for boats less than 6 metres.
Ms Horder explained that the conference will also discuss the uptake and acceptance of new technology.
“Research and development initiatives will be featured, such as the Composites CRC Marine R & D program that aims to implement actions from the Queensland Government’s Fibre Composites Action Plan – especially in the areas of innovation, industry development and investment.”
Representatives from the Bureau of Meteorology will be outlining the latest IT innovations in weather forecasting for the maritime sector. They will also be presenting the Australian Tsunami Warning System being implemented to provide detailed information on any tsunami threat to the Australian community.
Ms Horder revealed that research was high on the conference agenda, with new research reports and national data set to be released at the conference.
“One report that we will be launching is The National Assessment of Boating Fatalities in Australia 1999 – 2004 that will outline factors involved in boating fatalities using NCIS and coroners files.”
Marine fatalities and injuries cost the Australian community in excess of $370 million per year and pose a threat to personal and community safety second only to road fatalities across the nation.
On a lighter note, delegates will also have the chance to tour some of South Australia’s marine industry locations such as: Mannum – the recreational boating hub of the Murray River; Holdfast Shores Marina, Glenelg; Port Adelaide, New Port Quays, the ABB Grain Silo, and the Maritime Museum.
For further information on the Marine Safety Conference 2008 or to register on-line please go to http://www.nmsc.gov.au/msc_microsite