Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has launched a campaign this week in the Coffs Harbour region to ensure compliance with water towing activities.
RMS acting general manager (Maritime Operations) Trevor Williams announced the campaign.
“The campaign involves RMS Boating Safety Officers (BSO) conducting random checks of vessels,” he revealed.
“This is to ensure the boating community is properly informed about towing requirements and the dangers of propeller strike.
“Those involved in towing sports like water-skiing and wakeboarding need to know of the risks associated with boat propellers.’
Skiers, wakeboarders and pleasure boat skippers can expect to be stopped on Coffs Coast rivers and waterways any day leading to the Australia Day weekend.
Since November 2011, there have been nine towing-related incidents in NSW.
These have resulted in one fatality, seven serious injuries and one minor injury.
“Vessel operators also need to remember it is against the law to tow between sunset and sunrise,” Williams added.
“They also need to be aware of safety risks to small craft when towing in high volume waterways and to always keep to the right.
“BSOs will also be ensuring compliance with lifejacket, licence and safety equipment requirements.
“It is crucial to remember when towing on the water there must always be an observer in the boat in addition to the person driving.
“Those being towed must wear a lifejacket at all times and it is illegal to tow more than three people at a time.
“The bottom line is skippers are responsible for the safety of their boat, all on board and the people being towed.”
The campaign continues until this Friday.