Despite our summer boating safety program coming to an end, boating safety education remains at the core of plans to reduce boating incidents in Victoria.

“This summer we had more than 20 Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) covering more than 174 shifts across Victoria,” said Director – Maritime Safety, Peter Corcoran.

“During summer our BSOs visited more than 60 different waterways across the state. They were out at local boat ramps to promote boating safety, as well as visiting more than 140 marine retailers. Their emphasis was on the need for greater boating safety, especially the wearing of lifejackets and the importance of safety equipment for kayakers.

“The BSOs also attended a range of regional and metropolitan events from local fishing competitions through to the Geelong Wooden Boat Festival and other major marine events.

“The BSO program was expanded this year to include regional in Gippsland, Bendigo and Port Fairy to optimise our boat safety messages across the state.

We have a three-pronged approach to boating safety which involves education through the BSO program, compliance and enforcement.

“The overall aim of the team is to ensure all boaters comply with relevant marine safety laws, which will improve safety outcomes for all boaters.

“There is still much education needed around the wearing of lifejackets in heightened risk situations and the servicing of inflatable lifejackets.

“Being prepared before you go out on the water is key to safety. Boaters need to know whether the conditions are suitable for boating and how to raise the alarm should something go wrong,” said Mr Corcoran.