Marine police flag new boating regulations

NORTHERN marine police are concerned that few people are aware of new recreational boating rules that started on January 1.

Marine and Safety Tasmania introduced more stringent safety requirements for people who used lightweight craft, personal watercraft and inflatable lifejackets.

First Class Constable Nick East, of Northern Marine Services at George Town, warned against complacency.

"The new rules were implemented after the MAST Safe Boating Handbook came out," he said.

He advised people to visit www.mast.tas.gov.au or to call MAST on 1300135513 for a guide to the new legislation.

Marine police are conducting random breath-tests on commercial and recreational vessel operators this summer.

Recreational operators must not exceed the legal limit of 0.05 blood- alcohol concentration, while commercial operators must be zero.

Officers are patrolling popular areas including Bridport and Trevallyn Dam.

First Class Constable East said police responded to information from the public about misuse of vessels, with the most common complaint about PWCs.

"Over the summer, the general behaviour has been reasonably good," he said.

"Although, things like not adhering to the compulsory wearing of lifejackets and carrying minimum safety equipment have been detected." Fines range from $65 to $130 for such offences.

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