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Media Release

Water rescues up nearly 50 per cent as West Australians travel intrastate
Wednesday 23 December 2020 – 1:15 PM

A surge in boaties needing assistance from Marine Rescue volunteers has prompted a reminder about the importance of vessel maintenance before heading out onto the water this holiday season. 

Over the past six months as Western Australians flocked to the State’s north, local Marine Rescue volunteers have experienced a 45 per cent jump in requests for help from those trying to enjoy the coastline.

Since WA’s intrastate borders reopened in June, Marine Rescue volunteers in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Midwest Gascoyne have responded to 174 call-outs, compared to 120 for the same time-period in 2019.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said running out of fuel, mechanical and battery failures and a general lack of maintenance were the main reasons volunteers were being called out to assist.

“We know that more people are out on the water this year and we have seen an increase in requests for help for simple but preventable issues with their vessels,” Commissioner Klemm said.

“If you’re planning to enjoy WA’s coastline this holiday period, it’s imperative that you undertake the proper checks on your vessel and have the right equipment on board before making the trip to the boat ramp.

“Boaters should also make sure they’re carrying enough fuel, and that they log on and off with the local Marine Rescue group or let someone know where they’re going and when they’ll be back.

“All Marine Rescue personnel are volunteers and sacrifice their own time to respond to calls for help, so by taking the time to properly maintain your vessel you’re giving those personnel the best chance to enjoy the summer too.”

Western Australia has 37 Marine Rescue groups with more than 1,700 volunteers.

For more information on boating safety visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine/boating-safety.asp and download the Department of Transport’s Deckee app for official safety alerts and boating information.

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