Boaters on the Murray River and inland south western NSW alpine waterways are reminded to check their safety equipment and abide by the NSW boating safety rules this weekend.

NSW Maritime Acting Executive Director Andrew Mogg said ‘Operation Precious Cargo’ is a reminder that everyone on a boat, including those being towed, is indeed precious.

“The safety and compliance operation will focus on ensuring boaters are carrying the required safety equipment, towing according to boating laws and above all doing everything required to keep all passengers safe,” Mr Mogg said.

“NSW boating law applies across the entire expanse of the Murray River, which provides a border between NSW and Victoria.

“Traditionally, many Victorians head out on the water during the Melbourne Cup long weekend and we simply want everyone to be safe, particularly as this time of the year also heralds the start of the local water skiing season.”

NSW Maritime Boating safety officers will focus specifically on the rules which differ most markedly between the two states.

“In both states, all vessels must travel at a safe speed for the conditions and keep a safe distance from people in the water, other vessels, structures and the shore at all times. All boaters must observe any signposted speed limits,” Mr Mogg said.

“In NSW, you must hold a special licence to drive a jetski, while in Victoria, boat licence holders with an endorsement may allow another person to drive the jetski, provided the licence holder is in a position to take immediate control.

“PWC use is prohibited between sunset and sunrise in NSW, but permitted in Victoria provided appropriate navigation lights are used, highlighting the need for knowledge and understanding of the boat rules that apply for waterways – particularly those that cross state borders.

“Seven lives have been lost on NSW waterways since 1 July and that is already seven lives too many,” Mr Mogg said.

The three-day blitz will extend from sunrise on Saturday 31 October to sunset on Monday 2 November.

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