Staying safe on our waterways

Alcohol testing on the Gold Coast will catch you if you drink and drive, operate a boat or go to work.

An excellent article on the Queensland Police website. And a good reminder that if you drink and take drugs, don’t drive, go to work or operate a boat…

In recent weeks Queensland Water Police have been deployed to a few rescues off the coast of Townsville.

As we count down the sleeps until Christmas and the New Year period, Water Police would like to remind the boating community of a few messages so that the only thing being caught out on the water is (legal) fish for dinner!

  • Check the weather before your head out, monitor for any changes whilst out on the water and don’t take unnecessary risks. Weather can change quickly and with very little warning. Contact the Queensland Coast Guard and lodge a trip sheet. Tell your family/friends exactly where you are going and what time you are expected home.
  • Ensure your vessel is properly equipped and capable of the intended voyage.
  • Before every voyage check that all safety equipment is in a serviceable condition, the flares are in date, and that the EPIRB is registered with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Flares have a life of three years from the date of manufacture.
  • Ensure all safety equipment is easily accessible from within the vessel in an emergency situation and not locked away below decks or in hard to access compartments.
  • Ensure that all passengers onboard the vessel know how to use the safety equipment and where to access it from.
  • Persons operating vessels on estuarine and inland waters in remotes parts of the state should consider carrying an EPIRB to raise awareness of any distress situation. Communications by both VHF radio and phone is these areas can be non-existent
  • Don’t drink and cruise – the same rules apply to skippers of vessels as per driver of vehicle with the .05% limit. Queensland Water Police are undertaking on water RBT and drug testing activities constantly.

And lastly, don’t rely on a mobile phone as a primary means of communication whilst out on the water, as there is limited coverage in some areas.

An operational marine VHF radio should be carried on all vessels as a primary means of communication or advising of a distress situation.

As always, our main priority is that our people are safe and return home from their adventures out on the sea.

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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