Sea Rescue groups urge boaties to check their batteries before hitting the water

Former Test cricketer Matthew Hayden.
Former Test cricketer Matthew Hayden.

HE is best known for his cricketing centuries but Matthew Hayden has jumped on board an Australian Coast Guard campaign reminding boat users ‘you can’t get a push on the water’.

With summer in full swing and Australia Day celebrations nearing, Hayden said he remembers how awful he felt when he needed to be rescued after his boat wouldn’t start following a day of fishing.

“It’s not just your pride at stake but your whole family’s lives could be put at risk,” he said.

“There could be little or no marine traffic where you are, the weather can change and suddenly you are in a life-threatening situation.

“(Now) I always fire the boat up in the yard to make sure (the battery) is good to go (because) I never want to break down on the water again.”

Cockburn Sea Rescue Commander Brad Nicholas said his crews attended about 220 incidents last year, with 75 per cent of the call outs because of mechanical, electrical or fuel related issues.

“We quite often see vessels launched and the owner then spending an hour or more trying to get it running – sometimes with the engine cowling but then off and away they go in a cloud of smoke,” he said.

“Our advice if this is the case is to simply retrieve the boat and have it looked at by a professional.

“Similarly, if you need to take your car battery from your car at the ramp to get your boat jump started, then it’s probably best not to head out as we will invariably we’ll be called at some stage to assist.”

Whitfords Sea Rescue Ron Harris said his team also attended about 175 to 200 tow-ins last year.

“It’s generally good practice before heading out to ensure you replace old fuel and that you have stocked enough for the return trip with plenty in reserve, check your fuel lines, filters and terminal connections and pack appropriate safety equipment in a readily accessible position.” Mr Harris said.

“You should also only use marine batteries designed to take the knocks from waves and ensure they are fully charged before leaving home.”

Cockburn and Whitfords sea rescues are on-call 24/7 should you need assistance.

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