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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Operation Riversafe Keeping Everyone Above Board

Water Operations Unit have been busy on the water over the Christmas and New Year period educating the public about water and boating safety.

Operation Riversafe began on Boxing Day and will finish with the Sounds by the River concert in Mannum on 13 January.

So far, Water Operations Unit have stopped 81 vessels and conducted 95 alcotests and 93 drug wipes (of operators, observers and skiers).

Eight expiation notices have been issued for offences such as operate a vessel without a licence and without sufficient safety gear and fifteen cautions have been given.

Officers have been patrolling the water from Renmark to Murray Bridge and have spent a lot of time educating the public about recent changes to life jacket regulations.

Lifejacket laws for vessels less than 4.8 metres in length fitted with an engine:

All persons on-board must wear a lifejacket suitable for their area of operation, at all times when underway or at anchor.

For vessels 4.8 metres to 12 metres in length:

Children aged 12 or younger must wear a lifejacket at all times when on an open area of a vessel, at all times when underway or at anchor.

Anyone over the age of 12 must wear a lifejacket when on the open deck during times of heightened risk, which include:

* When operating alone * When operating after sunset or before sunrise * When the boat is disabled * At times of restricted visibility * When in an area subject to a gale, storm force, hurricane force, severe thunderstorm or severe weather warning from the Bureau of Meteorology

The laws also require a lifejacket to be worn, if directed by the operator of a 4.8 metre to 12 metre vessel, if reasonable to do so in the circumstances.

There are also requirements on inland waters for those people on surfboards, surf skis or similar vessels, to wear a personal flotation device.

*If in doubt about the rules, the South Australian recreational boating safety handbook is published by the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (DTEI) and is available online.

Image Source - SAPOL

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