Its important to keep you children and family safe when you are out on the water in your boat so that everyone has a fun time and wants to go again.
SAFETY ON BOATS
Having a fun and safe day out on the water is most important and there are a few things you need to consider before taking your family out on a boat. Most of these are common sense however it is important to make sure you are well organised and have the relevant safety gear.
BOAT LICENSE & SAFETY REGULATIONS
The regulations for safety requirements vary between each state and territory so ensure you are aware of the regulations and that keep you and your family safe when on the water.
Licensing requirements are also specific to the Australian state or territory you reside in. Children can start operating and apply for their boat licence at a young age. For example, in Western Australia, a 14-year-old can obtain a restricted boat licence and children aged 10-years and older are able to operate a vessel with guided assistance from a licensed boat operator.
1. Lifejackets: Ensure children are wearing a correct fitting PFD (personal floatation device).
2. Don’t take risks: Check where you are going, what the weather conditions are and take necessary precautions. The last thing you want is to put a child in danger or scare them so they will not want to go boating again.
3. Do not use restraints in boats: Securing your child in a car seat or a pram in a boat can be dangerous in the rare event that the vessel may capsize. It is much safer to hold young children in your arms or have them sit on a seat or the floor of the boat.
4. Sharp objects: Keep items such as hooks, knives and pliers out of reach.
5. Clear deck: Try to keep the floor clear of obstacles so it reduces the chance of tripping.
6. Crush barbs on hooks: Fishing hooks and trebles have sharp barbs on the end which makes hook very difficult to remove once they have become embedded. If you crush this barb with a pair of pliers, it makes the hook easier to remove if there is an incident.
7. Keep children safe: Ensure kids are out of the way when anchoring, coming alongside jetties and bringing fish on board - especially toothy varieties like sharks and mackerel.
8. First aid: Keep a well-equipped first aid kit on your boat with children’s panadol or nurofen in case you need it. It may take some time to find a pharmacy when you are out on the water.
9. Safety equipment: Ensure you carry all the necessary safety equipment and that it is within the test date.
10. Notify someone of your plans: Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return home.