Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 News
There have been some recent changes to the recreational boating regulations in Queensland. These changes came into effect on January 1 this year, and to my knowledge there has been little attempt to make everyone who owns a boat aware of these changes.
The majority of new regulations impact on jet ski operators, but there is one rule in particular that will impact on us fishermen. This new rule involves the labelling and awareness made to passengers of all safety equipment onboard the vessel.￼ According to the MSQ FAQ
"The owner or master must give each person on board information about where the safety equipment is kept. Life jackets or PFDs must be clearly visible while a person is on board; or kept in a place readily accessible and indicated by a clearly visible sign with a white background marked with the word 'life jackets' in red letters. Information may be given orally, in a demonstration or printed on a sign. Persons on board must know where the safety equipment is kept."
I know of at least one forum member who has already been questioned on this when pulled up by an officer on the water. But as I have already said, little has been done to make the public aware. This particular rule is not even mentioned on the MSQ media release 'New rules to keep boaties and jet ski user safe' updated on Jan 6 or the media release 'Recreational boating safety reforms announced' 22nd September 2011. I can't even find reference to it in the latest copy of the 'Queensland Recreational Boating and Fishing Guide' 2011-2012 edition. But there is more advertising in that booklet than information!
Like all legislation that comes out of the Queensland Government, the wording is very vague. For example, if I tell everyone on board where the safety equipment is does it still need to be labeled? If my jackets are clearly visible inside the cabin (i.e. in the side pockets) do they need to be labeled? Does this apply to all safety equipment, EPIRB, flares, v-sheet, first aid kit etc? Do we play it safe and label everything!
I don't mind sticking by any regulation that the Government see fit to apply, but they need to make a better effort to let us know about the changes, and be a bit more specific about what we need to be doing.