New marine regulations
can make it more difficult for boaties to acquire a marine license. With that, we believe that now is a good time to get one. Currently, there is a bizarre situation where you can easily get a license when you buy a 70ft boat and go out to sea with fifty friends without any training or expertise. This is about to change. There will be a practical exam requirement to be able to get a license. Pleasure Cruising is in consultation with Marine Safety to have our skipper courses certified and accredited. We aim to be a licensed trainer so that skipper school courses the club provides can also be relayed to the public.
The Department of Transport will be issuing a range of new fines for overstaying at berths and for not wearing PFD’s or retaining improper safety gears on the boat. Other fines apply for anchoring in restricted areas and having too many passengers on board. This was introduced by the Brumby Labor Government. Fines will be enforced by the water police.
Fines for not wearing a PFD during heightened risk can result in on the spot fines as high as $600 for every passenger on a vessel.
What is a heightened risk?
- When a vessel is crossing or attempting to cross an ocean bar or designated hazardous area
- When the vessel is being operated by a person who is alone
- When the vessel is being operated at night, commencing one hour before sunset and ending one hour after it
- When there is a likelihood that a vessel may capsize or be swamped by waves or the occupants of the vessel may fall overboard or be forced to enter the water
- When the vessel is operating in an area where a gale, storm, severe thunderstorm or severe weather warning is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology
- When a vessel has no safety barriers, lifelines, harness or jacklines in use
There has been talks of different boat licensing requirements for vessels that can take more than twelve passengers. Expect that fines will greatly increase!
Here are examples of some proposed regulations:
- Section 100 requires an all round white light to be displayed at anchor during the daytime (penalty infringement $244, court max. $2440).
- Section 14 requires notification in writing within 28 days to the Safety Director for a change of outboard brand, propeller, fuel type, etc (penalty infringement $244, court max. $2440).
- Section 7 provides penalty infringements of $122 parking fines (s158 Marine Safety Act 2010 already provides for local government car parking ticket inspectors to issue these infringements to both boaters on the water AND for the council to keep any revenue raised).
- Other high penalty provisions that are “honey pots” designed to trap boaters into receiving penalty infringements.
- The justification used by the Department of Transport for imposing these heavy penalties is based on a “safety case” that is using flawed data deliberately to imply boaters are idiots and need these penalties to behave.
There is a discussion under way to introduce practical boating exams. At Pleasure Cruising Club Inc., we believe in safety first. This is why we have a compulsory training under the Skipper School Certification Course. We do it just for you!
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