$5,500 Reminder the Waterways are There to Share

A 35-year-old Concord West man yesterday received a $5,500 reminder that it pays to follow the rules and be mindful of the wake that a boat creates.

Roads and Maritime Services was successful in the Downing Centre Local Court in putting forward a case to prove that the skipper of a large motor cruiser created unreasonable wash in an incident earlier this year which resulted in eight rowers ending up in the water during a race.

Maritime General Manager Industry and Environment Alex Barrell said the incident occurred during time trials for the Iron Cove Classic rowing race on the Parramatta River near Cockatoo Island.

“The Concord West man was operating a 13.4 metre motor cruiser which swamped and damaged three rowing shells which were taking part in the race,” Mr Barrell said.

“A Roads and Maritime Services Boating Safety Officer gave him an on-the-spot fine of $250.

“The matter then came before the court as a result of the man submitting a court election rather than just paying the penalty notice which was issued to him.

“This is a good lesson to anyone who needs reminding that – just like driving on the road – you may need to slow down on the water depending on the conditions and the size of a boat.

“Wash and its effects depends on how the boat is driven, its hull shape and its load and it is the responsibility of the skipper to be aware of these effects and to operate in a way to reduce any impacts.

“Don’t forget that even if there are no signs, it is still an offence to create waves that cause danger, inconvenience or damage.”

The matter was heard before Magistrate Joan Baptie who, before awarding the maximum penalty for a wash offence, said she was “astounded no one was injured”.

The court heard the Concord West man had already been required to pay a $2,000 excess to Club Marine in order to pay to have the rowing shells repaired.

A conviction was recorded.

For more information: