New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour
Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi has reminded boaters to ‘stay under the limit’ as they head out onto Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
More than 3000 vessels are expected to take to the water to see in the New Year, with a further 1.5 million people gathering to see the fireworks from vantage points around the harbour.
“New Year’s Eve and Boxing Day are the biggest boating days on Sydney Harbour and revellers should plan ahead and act responsibly to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time,” Mr Tripodi said.
“For skippers, that means staying under a six knot speed limit as well as the 0.05 alcohol limit.”
A maximum six knot no-wash speed limit will be in force between Cockatoo Island and Steele Point west of Nielsen Park from 3pm on New Year’s Eve until 2am on New Year’s Day.
Boaters should also steer clear of an exclusion zone which runs from Cockatoo Island to Clark Island off Darling Point.
“The zone will be marked by yellow buoys and will be in place from 8pm on New Year’s Eve until 30 minutes after midnight, at which time boats will also be excluded from under the Harbour Bridge,” Mr Tripodi said.
“Skippers should make sure all their safety gear is on board, navigation lights are working and turned on and aim to get to chosen spots early. Unauthorised vessels must stay out of the exclusion zone at all times.”
Mr Tripodi said the harbour will be patrolled by NSW Maritime safety officers, the Water Police, the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard.
“Random breath testing and lighting checks will occur throughout the night soskippers should make sure they stay under the 0.05 blood alcohol limit the same as if they were driving on the road.
“Revellers are also reminded not to set off flares on the water. It’s not only dangerous, anyone caught needlessly lighting a flare can be fined $160.”
Mr Tripodi said skippers should be patient and take care when heading home.
“Don’t rush to get home – display the appropriate navigation lights and welcome in 2009 with a safe, fun night on the harbour.”
Details of the exclusion zones, the position of the fireworks barges and areas reserved for charter vessels and super yachts can be found at the Maritime website: www.maritime.nsw.gov.au
Or visit the City of Sydney website for vantage points.
Wishing you a SAFE and Happy New Year!
The Yacht and Boat team