Boat safety review information sessions planned in Hillarys, Fremantle

The Department of Transport is holding information sessions on its boat safety review.
The Department of Transport is holding information sessions on its boat safety review.

SKIPPERS can discuss proposed changes to boat safety equipment requirements at information sessions this month.

The Department of Transport will hold sessions in Hillarys on November 3 and Fremantle on November 7 following the release of the Recreational Vessel Safety Equipment Review Position Paper for community comment.

The position paper, formulated following initial community consultation in 2017, detailed 12 proposals including the compulsory wearing of lifejackets for children and by anyone on a vessel less than 4.8m in length, bringing WA into line with other States.

Under the proposed reforms recreational vessels will also not need to carry any safety equipment when operating in protected waters or within 400m of shore in unprotected waters.

Beyond 400m, vessels will need to have a GPS enabled distress beacon, plus either flares or an electronic night signalling device, and a marine radio will only be required when operating more than four nautical miles from shore.

Maritime deputy general manager Ray Buchholz said it had been more than 25 years since the last review of safety equipment requirements for recreational vessels in WA.

Mr Buchholz said the reforms were designed to simplify laws, make it easier for skippers to comply and save lives on the water.

“While boat owners and users are the target for the information sessions, it’s hoped those who have personal water craft or regularly paddle, windsurf or enjoy kite surfing will also attend as these craft also require safety equipment,” he said.

The November 3 information session is from 2pm to 3.30pm at the Hillarys Yacht Club, 65 Northside Drive.

The November 7 information session is from 7pm to 8.30pm at the Fremantle Sailing Club, 151 Marine Terrace, Fremantle.

To register to attend, email safetyequipmentreview@transport.wa.gov.au or call 9435 7901.

Provide feedback on the proposals at www.transport.wa.gov.au/safetyequipmentreview.

Man rescued after boat capsizes