News

Boaters urged to stay safe this summer

By Country News

Goulburn-Murray Water and Maritime Safety Victoria are reminding boaters at popular lakes and rivers such as Eildon and Eppalock to understand safety recommendations as warmer weather approaches.

G-MW water storages general manager Martina Cusack encouraged visitors to follow this advice to prepare for a day on the water:

  •  For safe boat launching: Use public boat ramp facilities provided, to avoid soil disturbance and vehicle bogging incidents in lake foreshore areas.
  • There is a greater danger when operating vessels at low water levels: Be aware of submerged objects like rocks, sandbars, trees and other debris.
  • Ensure you do a weather check: Be aware that foggy and/or stormy conditions can lead to poor boat visibility on the water. High winds are dangerous and can lead to a boat capsizing.
  • Get your vessel ready for the season: Service your motor and replace stale fuel before your first trip out. Ensure your battery will reliably get you home at the end of the day.
  • Be aware that Victorian waters remain cold year-round: Wearing your lifejacket on the outside of clothing is critical to your survival, and you need to be able to call for help.

On inland Victorian waters a five-knot speed limit applies at any water level within 50m of the water’s edge, other vessels, people in the water, fixed or floating structures and other water users.

Ms Cusack said temporary speed restrictions were signposted at public boat ramps.

“People also need to be aware of NSW water rules while enjoying the River Murray,” she said.

"Even if you are from Victoria and have a Victorian boat licence, NSW rules apply to activities on the River Murray.

“It’s essential you have all required safety equipment ready — and life jackets should be top of the list."

MSV’s Gareth Johnson said it was important to tell friends and family where you were going and for how long.

“Always wear your lifejacket and consider carrying a personal location beacon (PLB) or emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and flares even if you are not required to do so under the regulations,” Mr Johnson said.

For more information, visit: www.g-mwater.com.au/recreation-tourism/water-smarts or read the MSV’s advice for boaters and paddlers at: https://transportsafety.vic.gov.au/maritime-safety/recreational-vessel-operators