Too many metro skippers failing checks for in-date flares

Be smart: Penalties apply to the owners and skippers of vessels found not carrying lifejackets, or if there are not enough lifejackets for everyone on board.
Be smart: Penalties apply to the owners and skippers of vessels found not carrying lifejackets, or if there are not enough lifejackets for everyone on board.

Metropolitan skippers are being warned they’re risking lives by not carrying in-date flares.

Department of Transport (DoT) safety compliance checks have revealed a higher number of vessels checked in the past 12 months failed to meet the safety requirement.

DoT spokesperson Laurie Adams said it was encouraging that of the 7400 safety compliance checks carried out in the metropolitan area in 2018, 83 per cent of vessels had serviceable flares.

However, there was concern about the 17 per cent that failed the test because it represented a five per cent increase on the previous year.

“It’s a concerning trend. In-date flares are required safety equipment for boating in open water and skippers who fail to carry them are risking their lives,” Mr Adams said.

DoT marine safety education officers will be at the Perth Caravan and Camping Show at the Claremont Showgrounds from March 20 to 24, 2019 reinforcing the importance of carrying in-date flares and providing an opportunity for skippers to measure their readiness for an onboard emergency with the 30 Second Challenge.

The initiative demonstrates if people can gather flares, EPIRB, make a radio call and put on a lifejacket in 30 seconds.

Mr Adams said DoT officers would be highlighting the need to have the correct safety equipment in good working order in a location that it is easily accessed in an emergency.