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RECREATIONAL BOATING SAFETY REVIEW Marine and Safety

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RECREATIONAL BOATING SAFETY REVIEW Marine and Safety Powered By Docstoc
					  Marine and Safety Tasmania




RECREATIONAL BOATING
   SAFETY REVIEW




          April 2000
             RECREATIONAL BOATING SAFETY REVIEW

                                          INDEX
                                                                                       Page
Section                                        Subject                                  No
1.0       Executive Summary and Recommendations
1.1       Background                                                                      4
1.2       Review of Coronial Enquiries                                                    4
1.3       The Boating Community                                                           5
1.4       Major Safety Issues Identified in the Review                                    5
1.5       Major Safety Issues Identified that are Outside the Terms of Reference         10
1.6       Other Issues                                                                   12
1.7       Issues Raised in the Review but which MAST does not intend to proceed with     14
1.8       Implementing the Review Recommendations                                        14
Table A   Summary of Review Recommendations                                              15

2.0       Background
2.1       Recreational Boating in Tasmania                                               20
2.2       Terms of Reference                                                             20
2.3       Methodology                                                                    21
2.4       Previous Studies                                                               23

3.0       Incident Analysis
3.1       Review of Coronial Records                                                     26
3.2       Summary of Coronial Records                                                    28

4.0       Survey Analysis
4.1       Overview                                                                       29
4.2       Survey Analysis                                                                29
4.3       Other Issues Paper Responses                                                   37

5.0       Risk Reduction
5.1       Overview                                                                       39
5.2       Reducing the Likelihood (Hazard Reduction)                                     39
5.3       Minimising the Consequences                                                    40
5.4       Strategies                                                                     40

6.0       Hazard Reduction
6.1       Overview                                                                       41
6.2       Weather                                                                        41
6.3       Buoyancy                                                                       43
6.4       Licensing                                                                      44
6.5       Enforcement                                                                    48
6.6       Safety Equipment                                                               48
6.7       Special Use Areas and Signage                                                  51




                                             2
            RECREATIONAL BOATING SAFETY REVIEW

                                        INDEX
7.0      Consequence Minimisation
7.1      Overview                                                                    53
7.2      Consequence                                                                 53
7.3      Consequence Minimisation Strategies                                         53
7.3.1    General                                                                     53
7.3.2    Coastal Radio Network                                                       53
7.3.3    Inland Lakes UHF Radio Facilities                                           54
7.3.4    Use of EPIRBs                                                               54
7.3.5    Trip Notification                                                           55
7.3.6.   Search and Rescue                                                           55
7.3.7    Alcohol                                                                     56
7.3.8    Compulsory Wearing of PFDs                                                  56
7.3.9    Survival Techniques                                                         58

8.0      Implementation
8.1      Overview                                                                    59
8.2      Methods                                                                     59
8.3      Resources and Funding                                                       60
8.4      Resourcing and Funding                                                      60

         Appendix 1   Statistical Analysis of Coronial Records
                      -
         Appendix 2   Statistical Analysis of Survey Responses
                      -
         Appendix 3   Analysis of Issues Paper Responses
                      -
         Appendix 4   Internet Tasmanian Coastal Waters Forecast
                      -
         Appendix 5   Weather by Fax Service
                      -
         Appendix 6   Capacity Label
                      -
         Appendix 7   Comparison of Australian States - Registration and Licensing
                      -
         Appendix 8   Comparison of Western Nations – Licensing and Safety
                      -
                      Equipment
         Appendix 9 - Comparison of Australian States – Safety Equipment
         Appendix 10 - Legislative Change – Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)




                                            3
1.0      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1.1    BACKGROUND
• The Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Energy and Resources, the
    Honourable Paul Lennon MHA, directed Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) to
    conduct a wide ranging review of recreational boating safety.
• The Terms of Reference directed MAST to
    - Review the findings of all coronial inquiries from January 1987 to November
          1999;
    - Consult with recreational boating and fishing clubs seeking their views on the
          compulsory wearing of lifejackets by adults, the compulsory wearing of
          lifejackets by children, recreational boating standards and the procedures for
          obtaining a motor boat licence;
    - Examine the issues involved in the compulsory wearing of lifejackets including
          when PFD’s must be worn, wearing by minors, and wearing by users of
          special craft such as jetskis;
    - Review current overseas and Australian legislation on boating safety equipment;
          and
    - Examine the issues involved in the enforcement of boating rules.

•     The boating safety review has drawn information from a wide range of sources
      including boating safety reviews recently conducted in Tasmania, in New Zealand
      and Canada. Over 150 boating clubs and organisations in Tasmania were invited to
      make submissions to this review.
•     Most importantly, every registered boat owner in Tasmania was asked to complete an
      extensive questionnaire on recreational boating behaviour and on safety issues. Over
      52% of those surveyed, 8687 boat owners, responded to the survey.
•     In addition, MAST conducted a series of public meetings around the State to discuss
      the findings of the survey and to seek input from the boating community.
•     This Executive Summary contains the principal findings and recommendations of the
      review.

1.2     REVIEW OF CORONIAL INQUIRIES
• Between January 1987 and December 1999 there were 46 recreational boating deaths
    which occurred in 34 separate incidents.
• Victims were predominantly male: only one female died in this period, and over half
    the fatalities were over 40 years of age. Most of the younger victims were passengers
    and not owners of vessels. The 21 – 30 age group appears to be over-represented.
• Most accidents occurred in small vessels, typically 3 to 5 metres in length. Most were
    in runabouts and dinghies.
• Nearly half the incidents involved the recreational boat being swamped (16 out of 34)
    with a further 8 involving people falling or being thrown out of a vessel. Every
    boating fatality was the result of the victim entering the water.




                                              4
•     Most accidents happened close to shore. Fatalities in inland waters represented 20%
      of fatalities.
•     Accidents happened throughout the year but the majority occurred in Spring and
      Summer.
•     The majority of victims were not wearing PFD’s but 10 of the 46 died even though
      they were wearing a PFD.
•     Alcohol was a factor in 25% of fatal accidents.


1.3    THE BOATING COMMUNITY
• MAST carried out an extensive survey of boat owners. The response rate was 52.8%
    with 8687 individual responses.
• The results of the survey provided a profile of the typical Tasmanian boat owner.
    - Male
    - Over 40 years old
    - Has been boating for over 20 years
    - Main reason for boating is fishing
    - Owns a dinghy or runabout between 3 and 5 metres in length
    - Boats within 2 miles or less of the shore in sheltered waters. One third boat in the
           lakes but many boat in both inland and coastal waters
    - Boats 11 to 20 times a year
    - Does not belong to a club or association
    - Takes children boating less than 10 times a year (often grandchildren)
    - About 50% wear a PFD (more dinghy owners are likely to wear a PFD, about
           60%)
    - Makes children wear a PFD (over 90%)
    - Carries the required safety equipment and knows the boating rules.
    - Over 40% reported that they had been in a situation that had given them cause for
           concern about their safety.
    - The profile of the average boat owner is closely aligned with that of the typical
           recreational boating fatality.


1.4      MAJOR SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED IN THE REVIEW

1.4.1 Safety equipment
• The survey showed that almost all recreational boat owners carried the legally
    required safety equipment.
• A review of the legislative requirements for safety equipment in Australia and
    overseas showed that Tasmanian legislation for safety equipment is consistent with
    other States, Canada and the United States. New Zealand and the United Kingdom
    have lower requirements for safety equipment on recreational boats.
• A major review of Tasmanian legislation was undertaken in 1997. Prior to this review
    most Marine Boards had required that a wide range of equipment should be carried.




                                              5
•   The available evidence was that this was not complied with. Some requirements such
    as the carriage of freshwater was seen as officious and unnecessary by freshwater
    anglers and brought the whole regulatory regime into question.
•   At present only motor boats that are registered are required to carry safety equipment.
•   Most owners in the survey (65.7%) believed that non registered boats should also
    carry safety equipment.
•   There was also strong support for personal water craft (PWC’s, more commonly
    known by the product brand name jetskis) to have separate requirements for safety
    equipment. Some equipment such as auxiliary propulsion or oars and a conventional
    anchor are inappropriate.
•   In New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland PWC’s are required
    to carry a “Safe Behaviour” sticker fixed adjacent to the controls.

1.4.2 Recommendations for Safety equipment
MAST recommends:
      1. No change in requirements for registered motor boats;
      2. Motor boats that currently do not have to be registered, including tenders and ,
         or, boats with engines of less than 4 HP would have to carry the same safety
         equipment in sheltered waters as registered motor boats; and
      3. PWC’s would only be required to carry a means of anchoring such as a sand
         anchor or bag, a fire extinguisher and flares (in sheltered or coastal waters
         only). PWC’s would carry a “Safe Behaviour” sticker.

1.4.3 Compulsory wearing of Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s)
• About half of adult owners (48.2%) normally wear PFD’s when boating. Dinghy
    owners were more likely to wear PFD’s (59.5%). All owners reported that most
    children wear PFD’s on their boats (88.2%).
• The public meetings and the written comments through the survey showed that there
    were strong views held about the wearing of PFD’s. Those who reported that they
    wear PFD’s were generally in favour of their compulsory wearing while those who
    did not were strongly opposed.
• Those in favour believed that they saved lives, were an insurance against unforeseen
    events, and enhanced the safety culture. However, many, such as most of the yacht
    clubs that made submissions, considered that compulsory wearing should be limited
    to certain vessels such as dinghies and runabouts. Others who favoured mandatory
    wearing of PFD’s believed that they should be limited to vessels that were open boats
    or with exposed decks.
• Those opposed to compulsory wearing felt that PFD’s were hot, bulky, uncomfortable
    and restrictive. They were considered to be inappropriate for activities such as fly
    fishing, diving, driving ski boats or for certain kinds of vessels such as yachts and
    cabin cruisers. In some circumstances it was considered that they could be dangerous
    as they could snag on pots, nets, or other boating or fishing equipment.
• No Australian State or Territory requires the compulsory wearing of PFD’s by adults
    on conventional motor boats. Victoria is the only State to require children (under 10
    years old) to wear PFD’s. This requirement applies to children on open decks on
    boats that are in motion.


                                             6
•   Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland require operators of PWC’s to wear
    PFD’s.
•   In the United States children are required to wear PFD’s in about half the States and
    in most States PWC operators are required to wear PFD’s.
•   The Tasmanian Jet Sports Boating Club in their submission proposed that wearing of
    PFD’s should be compulsory on PWC.

1.4.4 Recommendations for compulsory wearing of PFD’s
MAST recommends that:
1. PWC operators should be required to wear PFD’s at all times;
2. Children under 12 are required to wear a PFD 1, 2, or 3 while in a recreational boat
    that is underway, unless the child is within a deckhouse, cabin, half-cabin or a secure
    enclosed space.
3. Apart from these changes the current requirements under the Marine and Safety
    (Motor Boats and Licences) By-laws 1998 would remain unaltered.

1.4.5 Licensing
• Currently only Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania require
    motor boat operators to be licensed. It is understood that Victoria is currently looking
    at licensing motor boat operators.
• Overseas, a majority of States in the United States and Canada require motor boat
    operators to be licensed. The United Kingdom and New Zealand do not require motor
    boat operators to be licensed.
• Of the four Australian States that require licensing only Queensland has both a
    written and a practical test. The Queensland test is now administered by private
    providers and costs $100.
• A Tasmanian training provider estimated that a practical test of similar standard to
    Queensland would cost about $100 to deliver in Tasmania.
• 75% of survey respondents thought that the present written test was satisfactory.
    However, 58% believed that some form of practical test should be introduced.
• An analysis of coronial reports shows that, unlike motor vehicle drivers, young or
    inexperienced boat operators are not over-represented in fatalities. Most operators of
    boats and most operators involved in fatal accidents have a good deal of experience.
• MAST notes that over 5,000 new licences have been issued this year in addition to
    the more than 6,000 last financial year. This is very heartening.

1.4.5 Recommendations for licensing of motor boat operators
• MAST is concerned that introducing a mandatory practical test that costs $100 or
    more would deter operators from gaining a licence. There also does not appear to be a
    compelling safety case for introducing a practical licence test. For these reasons
    MAST recommends that a practical test not be introduced at this time
• MAST notes that a range of commercial and volunteer organisations are currently
    providing training. MAST will continue to support these training providers through
    accreditation and auditing.




                                             7
1.4.6 Overloading and buoyancy
• These two issues are inter-related. The coronial inquests show that overloading is a
    significant cause of fatalities. Moreover swamping, where a boat capsizes as a result
    of taking on water, is the cause of nearly half the fatal accidents.
• Recent trials by MAST on runabouts involved in boating fatalities showed that boats
    that had underfloor buoyancy were not likely to remain upright but would float either
    upside down or bow up depending on the weight of the outboard and the buoyancy
    fitted in the stern of the boat.
• However, the survey showed that most boat owners considered that their boat would
    remain upright if swamped although 30.8% of dinghy owners and 38% of runabout
    owners did not know what would happen.
• While 63% of dinghy owners and 54% of runabout owners believed their boat would
    remain upright the survey also showed that 58% of runabouts had buoyancy fitted
    under the floor. In reality they would be unlikely to remain upright if swamped.
• Mainland States have publicised the need for positive buoyancy i.e. sufficient
    buoyancy material should be placed in the boat and in the right places to help ensure
    that the boat floats upright.
• There is an Australian Standard for the design and construction of recreational motor
    boats (AS 1799). However, few manufacturers build to this standard and no State
    requires that boats comply with the Standard. As many boats sold in Tasmania are
    manufactured interstate it would be difficult for Tasmania to unilaterally require that
    boats be built to AS 1799 or an equivalent standard.
• The issue of recreational boating standards is being dealt with nationally by the
    National Marine Safety Committee. This is expected to report to Ministers through
    the Australian Transport Council within 12 months.
• Overloading has been identified as a major issue in recreational boating fatalities.
    Whilst some boats are fitted with capacity plates by the manufacturer, the majority of
    existing boats are not.
• New South Wales and Queensland have addressed this issue by sending out an
    explanatory brochure to boat owners explaining how they can calculate the maximum
    safe capacity in protected water conditions. These States provided boat owners with
    an adhesive label to fix to their boats which displays the maximum carrying capacity
    and require by legislation that labels be fixed to boats in a prominent position.

1.4.7 Recommendations for improving vessel standards
MAST recommends that:
1. MAST mail out a brochure and a capacity label to all registered recreational boat
    owners;
2. All registered recreational boats be fitted either with a manufacturers’ capacity plate
    or a label;
3. A brochure be prepared and distributed illustrating how to ensure that a recreational
    boat has positive buoyancy; and
4. Provide practical demonstrations at boat shows and other suitable public events of the
    dangers of not having positive buoyancy and how to ensure a boat has positive
    buoyancy.



                                             8
1.4.8 Enforcement
• The survey of recreational boat owners showed that enforcement was considered to
    be an important issue. Both the responses to the survey and the written comments
    from respondents highlighted this.
• Almost two thirds (65.7%) of boat owners reported that they had never encountered
    any enforcement.
• While most owners (94.9%) considered that they knew the boating by-laws, they
    believed that compliance by other boat operators was poor.
• 60% of operators had observed others operating boats under the influence of alcohol
    and 64.3% were in favour of random breath testing of boat operators. A number of
    yacht clubs urged caution in the introduction of breath testing.
• It is currently an offence in Tasmania to operate a registered recreational boat while
    intoxicated. However, there is no recognised blood alcohol limit.
• Currently the Department of Police and Public Safety (DPPS) has the primary
    responsibility for enforcing boating regulations.
• MAST and the DPPS are currently reviewing a memorandum of understanding for
    the ongoing enforcement of the Marine and Safety (Motor Boat and Licences) By-
    laws 1998.
• MAST will also investigate the development of similar agreements with the Inland
    Fisheries Service and with the Parks and Wildlife Service.
• MAST also operates boating patrols at weekends to assist boat owners to better
    understand safe boating procedures.
• Last year MAST introduced infringement notices for all offences under the Marine
    and Safety Authority Regulations and By-laws. This has greatly simplified the
    administration of enforcement.

1.4.9 Recommendations for improving enforcement
MAST recommends that:
1. The Department of Police and Public Safety continue to hold the primary
    responsibility for enforcing boating regulations;
2. Given the perceived low level of enforcement activity that DPPS increase the level of
    enforcement aimed at recreational boat operators, particularly to ensure greater
    compliance with safety initiatives;
3. Consideration be given to the Inland Fisheries Service and the Parks and Wildlife
    Service taking on responsibility for enforcement of boating regulations in areas under
    their management control to assist the DPPS and to increase overall enforcement
    activity;
4. MAST continue to operate boating patrols to improve boating safety awareness; and
5. The Department of Police and Public Safety investigate amending the Road Safety
    (Alcohol and Drugs) Act to include boats in the definition of vehicle. This would
    bring all persons in charge of boats that are underway under the .05 blood alcohol
    limit and empower DPPS officers to use breathalysers to help detect operators
    exceeding .05.




                                            9
1.5    MAJOR SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED THAT ARE OUTSIDE THE
       TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE REVIEW

1.5.1 Weather
• Weather was perceived as being the greatest risk (38.2%) because
-       Tasmanian weather is unpredictable
-       weather is not generally well understood
-       forecasts are ignored by boaters and they are sceptical about their accuracy;
-       there is a need for more regular and comprehensive forecasts especially in
        highland waters
-       the current telephone service is a 1900 number which is expensive and
        cumbersome
-       there is a need for better weather education
-       there is a need for a more comprehensive weekend forecast
• Most boat owners use either television or newspaper forecasts. This means that boat
    owners are using forecasts that are at least 12 hours old when making decisions about
    going boating. Given the potential for rapid changes in weather conditions in
    Tasmania this is a significant hazard to boaters.
• The Bureau of Meteorology reviewed its forecasting regime two years ago following
    a survey of users. While the Bureau provides detailed coastal forecasts updated four
    times a day, these are generally only accessed by Internet, fax or telephone.
• The introduction of a 1900 number by Austel three years ago has seen the use of
    telephone weather services fall to 10% of that prior to timed calls.
• New South Wales and Queensland have introduced 1300 numbers for boating
    weather so that boat owners may receive weather information for the price of a local
    call. The difference in cost between the high cost (75cents per minute) 1900 number
    is picked up by the State Government. This costs the Queensland Government over
    $100,000 a year.

1.5.2 Recommendations for improving the dissemination of weather information
MAST recommends that:
1. MAST and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) investigate introducing a telephone
    boating weather service that is simpler and less costly than the present 1900 telephone
    service;
2. MAST and BoM discuss with television stations the introduction of a boating weather
    alert ( in the same way as the current road weather alerting system); and
3. MAST continues to promote the need for boat owners to check the weather before
    going boating through an extensive awareness campaign.

1.5.3 Safety awareness
• After weather, survey respondents considered the greatest perceived risk for boaters
    (37.7%) to be a lack of knowledge and skill.
• Typical comments in the survey, from the submissions from clubs and boating
    organisations and from the public meetings included:
    - Lack of commonsense
    - Irresponsibility


                                            10
    -   Inexperience
    -   Complacency
    -   Ignorance
    -   Unfamiliarity
    -   People unaware of personal and vessel imitations
    -   Lack of a safety culture

•   The remedies to these cultural attitudes were seen as being:
    - Education particularly of school children
    - Practical training and a practical licence test
    - TV advertising, videos and printed awareness material
    - MAST attendance at boat shows, club meetings etc.
    - Encourage club membership

•   MAST has had a limited public awareness campaign through television, radio and
    print over the past two years. This has featured four messages:
    - Wear a PFD
    - Check the weather
    - Carry the correct safety equipment
    - Think before you hit the drink

•   MAST has also promoted Water Safety Week and participated in regional water
    safety meetings.
•   MAST is a member of the Australia New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group
    (ANZSBEG) which allows access to a wide range of promotional and educational
    material at nominal cost.
•   However, to develop a safety awareness campaign will cost considerably more than
    current annual expenditure which totals $50,000 (excluding salary costs) and includes
    $23,000 spent on the public awareness campaigns.
•   This expenditure has been extended by the extensive additional coverage of both paid
    advertising and the free communication of safety messages by all media outlets. All
    forms of media have been generous in providing time and space to highlight the safe
    boating message.
•   MAST is recommending elsewhere in this report that a number of measures be
    implemented to improve boating safety. These all have to be adequately
    communicated to the boating public.
•   As Tasmania has a longer coastline than New South Wales and Victoria combined, it
    will not be possible to ensure compliance with these measures through enforcement
    activities alone.
•   This will require a considerable increase in resources applied by MAST to
    communicating boating safety.

1.5.4 Recommendations for safety awareness
MAST recommends that:
1. There are safety awareness campaigns directed particularly at:
    - Improving weather information services


                                            11
   - Compulsory wearing of PFD’s by children
   - Capacity labels on existing boats to prevent overloading
   - Safety equipment on non-registered craft and on PWC’s
2. MAST ensures greater representation at boat shows, agricultural shows and other
   public events.
3. MAST liaises more actively with the media to assist with promoting safe boating
   messages.
4. A manager is appointed to oversee the development and implementation of the
   recreational boating safety program outlined above.

1.5.5 Education
• MAST currently limits its educational role to accrediting training providers. These
    providers generally target adults.
• Other States have developed extensive boating safety curriculums and promote the
    boating safety message in schools.
• A range of private and community organisations provide training on recreational boat
    licences, operating a motor boat and sail training. These include sailing and yacht
    clubs, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, as well as
    private sector organisations. Adult Education offers a number of courses through
    these organisations and groups and there is a strong demand.
• MAST would not want to duplicate the efforts of these organisations but rather would
    seek to promote their efforts. MAST also needs to periodically audit training
    providers.
• MAST also receives requests from schools to assist with boating safety education. At
    present it is unable to assist except on a very irregular basis.

1.5.6 Recommendations for education
It is recommended that MAST:
1. Assists the Department of Education etc. with the development of a boating safety
     curriculum based on materials sourced from other States;
2. Continues to accredit training providers and introduce an auditing program
3. Visits schools to assist with promoting boating safety;
4. Encourages boat operators to undertake further safe boating education at accredited
     courses; and
5. Engages a part time education officer to oversee the development and implementation
     of a safe boating education program.


1.6    OTHER ISSUES

1.6.1 Signage
• MAST has installed new signage at the sixty marine facilities under its direct control.
• It has also provided $30,000 this year on a $ for $ basis to Councils and other
    owner/managers to install new boating safety signs around the State. MAST believes
    that signage at boat ramps provides a timely last minute reminder to boat owners of
    simple steps that may save their lives.


                                            12
•   MAST will continue to liaise with the Inland Fisheries Service, HEC and Parks and
    Wildlife Service about signage in areas under their jurisdiction.

1.6.2 Special use areas
• There are a number of designated water ski areas around the State. These have not
    been reviewed for many years.
• In addition there is a strong demand from boat owners that there be special areas set
    up for PWC’s.
• MAST intends to hold discussions with Councils and other owner/ managers
    adjoining waterways to better understand community expectations and needs with
    regard to special use areas.

1.6.3 Limits of Operational Areas
• The Motor Boat and Licences By-law 1998 calls up the Marine and Safety (Limits of
    Operational Areas) By-laws 1997. This divides the State’s waterways into “smooth”,
    “sheltered” and “coastal” waters.
• These divisions have a significant impact on safety equipment requirements. For
    instance in smooth waters a boat is only required to carry a PFD2 while the same boat
    in sheltered waters is required to carry a PFD1 and flares.
• These operational areas have not been reviewed for an extended period. However, as
    they are also called up under by-laws dealing with commercial boating, they have a
    major impact on commercial operating certificates as well as safety equipment.

1.6.4 Marine communications
• MAST in conjunction with volunteer groups such as Tasmar Radio and Royal
    Volunteer Coastal Patrol has developed a statewide VHF radio communication
    network that is monitored from shore. This has cost MAST over $100,000 to establish
    over the past two years.
• This VHF network supplements the existing High Frequency (HF) network but offers
    more reliable and better quality reception to a wide range of recreational boats.
• All seven repeater stations around the State will be monitored from shore stations
    manned by the volunteer groups from end of this financial year. This will greatly
    improve distress alerting and also management of search and rescue.
• There is also an Ultra High Frequency station at Barren Tier south of Great Lake
    which provides coverage over Great Lake and Arthurs Lake. This is not shore
    monitored.

1.6.5 Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
• EPIRBs are required equipment on any vessel that ventures more than two miles from
    the coast. There are two types of EPIRB, the older and less expensive 121.5/243 Mhz
    EPIRB and the more sophisticated and much more expensive 406 Mhz model.
    Response time for the 121.5 Mhz EPIRB is slow and is likely to be a minimum of at
    least two hours. A 406 Mhz EPIRB is much faster but it costs $1600 compared to
    around $200.




                                           13
•   At this time MAST does not believe that it is appropriate to require boat owners to
    switch to the later 406MHz model. However, a watching brief will be kept on the
    matter as the 121.5MHz EPIRB will cease to be monitored after 2008.
1.6.6 Recommendations for other issues
• MAST recommends that these not receive any increased priority but that action
    continues to progress these issues to a conclusion.


1.7      ISSUES RAISED IN THE REVIEW BUT WHICH MAST DO NOT
         INTEND TO PROCEED WITH

1.7.1    Graduated licences

•     The response to the survey was ambivalent on the need for graduated licences.
•     Given the administrative difficulties in overseeing and enforcing graduated licenses,
      MAST does not propose pursuing this concept further.

1.7.2 Separate licences for PWC’s
• New South Wales has separate PWC licences. Given their safety record and the low
    number in the State MAST does not see a pressing need to develop a separate licence
    for PWC’s at this time.

1.7.3 Recommendations for remaining issues
• MAST recommends that no further action be taken on these issues.


1.8      IMPLEMENTING THE REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS

•     MAST has identified 14 recommendations that should be implemented to reduce the
      level of fatalities in recreational boating.
•     This 14 point program is detailed in Table A




                                              14
TABLE A: SUMMARY OF REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS
    RECOMMENDATIONS                                     ACTION REQUIRED                       COMPLETION DATE             COST
1   Compulsory wearing of PFD’s for children under      Amend Motor Boat and Licences         October 2000               $25,000
    12 years old. (Rec 7.3.8)                           By-laws
2   Compulsory wearing of PFD’s on jet skis, by         Awareness campaign in media           November- February 01
    persons being towed and persons in canoes and       between November 2000 and
    kayaks (Rec 7.3.8)                                  February 2001

3   Require motor boats that currently do not have to   Amend Motor Boat and Licences         October 2000               $21,000
    be registered to carry safety equipment.            By-laws
    (Rec 6.6.2.)
4   Require PWC to carry relevant safety equipment      Awareness campaign through            November 2000
    and a safe boating “Behaviour” Sticker              brochures.
    (Rec 6.4.2.)                                        Prepare and print “Behaviour          November 2000
                                                        Sticker” and distribute with
                                                        registration renewals

5   Reduce overloading of craft by introducing safe     Prepare and print brochure and        November 2000              $26,000
    capacity labels. (Rec 6.3.2)                        capacity label on safe capacity.
                                                        Mail out to owners.
6   Make owners aware of need for positive              Amend Motor Boats and Licences        October 2000
    buoyancy. (Rec 6.3.2.)                              By-law to require owners to display
                                                        label or sticker from 2002 onward.
                                                        Prepare and print brochure on
                                                        positive buoyancy.                    November 2000 ongoing       $7000
                                                        Provide practical demonstrations on
                                                        positive buoyancy at boat shows
                                                        and other suitable public venues.                             Costed below
                                                        Raise recreational vessel
                                                        construction standards at National
                                                        Marine Safety Committee               May 2000




                                                                    15
7   Encourage greater use of up to date weather      Investigate jointly with Bureau of    November 2000
    forecasts and improve distribution of weather    Meteorology (BoM) a telephone
    information. (Rec 6.2.2.)                        boating weather service that is
                                                     simpler and less costly to use
                                                     MAST and BoM to discuss with
                                                     media outlets the introduction of a   July 2000
                                                     boating weather alert
                                                     MAST promotes the need for
                                                     boaters to check the weather before   November 2000 –                 $21,000
                                                     going boating.                        February 2001
8   Increase safety awareness of recreational boat   Introduce awareness campaigns as      Awareness campaigns to run   Already costed
    owners and operators.                            outlined above on:                    between November and             above
    (Rec 8.1.3)                                      • Weather                             February.
                                                     • Compulsory wearing of PFD’s
                                                         by children and jetski drivers.
                                                     • Capacity labels or stickers on
                                                         all craft
                                                     • New safety equipment
                                                         requirements for unregistered     Develop a display to
                                                         motor boats and jetskis           demonstrate issues such as      $11,000
                                                     MAST ensure greater                   positive buoyancy
                                                     representation at boat shows,
                                                     agricultural shows and other                                          $18,000
                                                     appropriate public events
                                                     Liaise with media outlets to help
                                                     promote boating safety




                                                                 16
9    Increase enforcement of safe boating regulations     Finalise Memorandum of               July 2000                         $3,000
     and by-laws through regular patrols by               Understanding with Department of
     Department of Police Public Safety, supplemented     Police and Public Safety.
     by patrols by Marine and Safety Tasmania, Inland     Agree MOU’s with IFS and PWS         September 2000                    $31,000
     Fisheries Service, and Parks and Wildlife Service.
     (Rec 6.5.2)                                          Introduce RBT by amending Road
                                                          Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act.      Department of Police and          $6,000
                                                                                               Public Safety responsibility
10   Improve formal education and training programs       Assist with preparation of boating   December 2000 and ongoing         $50,000
     for boat operators by:                               educational materials particularly
     • Assisting schools to develop safe boating          resources already developed in
         curricula                                        other states and disseminate to
     • Accrediting training providers and                 schools.
         introducing an audit program                     Visit schools and recreational
     (Rec 8.1.4)                                          boating and fishing clubs to help
                                                          promote safe boating
                                                          Participate in Australia New
                                                          Zealand Safe Boating Education
                                                          Group meetings.
11   Encouraging boat owners to undertake suitable        Audit existing training providers.
     training courses.                                    Develop and distribute brochure
     (Rec 6.4.2.)                                         detailing training courses for
                                                          recreational boat owners offered
                                                          around the State.
12   Improve signage to promote safety.                   $30,000 has been provided to local   Program started. Anticipated   Already funded
     (Rec 6.7.2)                                          government, IFS, HEC and PWS to      completion December 2000       in other MAST
                                                          introduce safety signage at boat                                       programs.
                                                          ramps and facilities around State.
13   Introduce special use areas in popular waterways.    MAST to hold discussions with
     (Rec 6.7.2)                                          Councils, IFS and PWS on use of
                                                          waterways to minimise conflicts
                                                          between users.
14   Review limits of operational areas                   Review limits in Marine and Safety   Ongoing                        Already funded
                                                          (Limits of Operational Areas) By-                                       in other
                                                          law                                                                    programs



                                                                      17
1.8.1 Implementation issues
• Given the ever present risk of hypothermia in Tasmanian waters and the possible
    remoteness of a boater from shore based assistance, MAST believes that priority must be
    given to those actions that will prevent capsize or swamping of vessels.
• However, MAST considers that compulsory wearing of PFD’s by children under 12 is
    also an important initiative that should be given priority in implementation.
• A number of legislative amendments will also need to be made to give effect to these
    proposed changes. A Regulatory Impact Statement has been prepared for the proposed
    changes to the Marine and Safety (Motor Boat and Licences) By-laws 1998 and to the
    Marine and Safety (Fees) By-laws 1998. The RIS spells out the alternatives to a
    legislative approach and why amendments to existing legislation is the preferred
    approach. It also deals with the costs and benefits of the fee increase. The RIS is at
    Appendix 10 to this report.

1.8.2 Resources and Funding
• MAST has assessed the cost of implementing the recommendations of this review. It
    needs to be stressed that like road safety or campaigns against smoking improving the
    boating safety culture is a long term and ongoing task. It will need to extend over more
    than the next 12 months.
• However, given the high community cost of recreational boating fatalities, $800,000 for
    each fatality, it is important to establish a vigorous safe boating program in the coming
    year. The 14 point program outlined will address a number of key issues identified in the
    review before next summer.
• Other issues will take longer to address and are part of an ongoing plan to improve
    recreational boating safety. MAST currently has 14 staff of whom 4 are part time. Of
    these, two deal with phone enquiries, two deal with recreational boating facilities
    including moorings and one deals with recreational boat licensing. Six staff are involved
    in commercial vessels or facilities and three with management services of MAST.
• There are no opportunities to deploy existing staff or resources from other areas within
    MAST to implement the recreational boating safety program recommended by this report.
• MAST receives no allocation from Government for recreational boating. All programs are
    funded from recreational boating registrations. MAST believes that it is appropriate that
    registration and licence fees continue as the sole means of funding.
• This year (1999/2000) MAST will be able to direct $25,000 towards implementing the
    recommendations of the review from its existing safety programs.
• MAST has also committed $30,000 toward safety related signage from the $200,000
    recreational boating facilities program.
• MAST has prepared a detailed budget and work program to implement the program
    outlined in the report. It is estimated that the full program to promote a range of safety
    initiatives is $210,000 in a full year. This comprises $108,000 in direct non salary costs to
    fund enforcement activities, educational programs and awareness and advertising
    initiatives.
• The balance covers salaries for one full time officer and one part time officer,
    accommodation, superannuation, payroll tax, and travel costs. These new positions will
    oversee the implementation of the detailed elements of the review.
• Accordingly MAST recommends that a special boating safety levy be introduced
    coincident with registration renewal in January 2001 of $10 to fund the implementation of
    the review. This will contribute $155,000 to the review.




                                               18
•   MAST also recommends that the $5 rebate provided on electronic payment for boat and
    mooring registrations be discontinued from 2000 onward. This will contribute $30,000.
    This together with the $155,000 from the safe boating levy and $25,000 directed from
    existing boating safety funding will meet the full costs of the review next financial year.
•   This will see direct benefits to recreational boat owners through better boating safety
    programs, more education programs for boat operators and increased enforcement
    activity.




                                                19
2.0       BACKGROUND
2.1     Recreational Boating Safety in Tasmania
Tasmania like most other Australian states has a relatively large recreational boating
community. Being an island state, and possessing inland waterways including a large number
of lakes forming part of a hydro-electric scheme, a wide range of boating venues is available
to the public. This is enhanced by the fish resources available in both coastal and inland
waters and it is therefore not surprising that the majority of registered boat owners in
Tasmania use their boats primarily for fishing.

Notwithstanding the vast amount of water available for recreational activities, the safe
conduct of boating can be influenced by a number of factors including those of an
environmental nature, craft condition and the experience and knowledge of operators. On
occasions, these factors combine to cause boating incidents, some of which result in fatalities.
Tasmania, because of its geographic position can experience marked changes in weather
conditions, including strong winds low temperatures. This combined with generally cold
water temperatures and the isolation of some waters, can make for hazardous boating
conditions.

Since 1987, Tasmania has seen 46 recreational boating deaths occurring in 34 fatal boating
incidents. Deaths have occurred in all years since 1987 with the exception of 1988. The
majority of fatal incidents involve people who have been boating for some time, but
nevertheless have perished due to a combination of factors including environmental
conditions.

Boating fatalities result in a great deal of pain and anguish to family, relatives and friends of
victims, along with a not insubstantial cost to the community ($800,000 per fatality). 1999 in
particular saw the largest number of fatalities in the period under the review. Twelve
fatalities occurred in five boating incidents, with one incident claiming five lives.

There is a responsibility on all those involved with recreational boating activity to gain the
necessary knowledge and take any practicable actions necessary to reduce the number of
recreational boating tragedies. This includes governments, the community, the media and
most importantly the recreational boat owner.


2.2     Terms of Reference
2.2.1 On the 7th December 1999, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Energy
and Resources, the Honourable Paul Lennon MHA directed Marine and Safety Tasmania
(MAST) to conduct a wide ranging review of recreational boating safety. The Minister
directed that in the course of conducting the review MAST was to consult widely with the
community including seeking input from all recreational boating and fishing clubs. The
review was to include the following Terms of Reference:

      •   Review the findings of all coronial inquiries from January 1987 to November 1999
          and report on the causes of boating related deaths over that period;




                                               20
   •   Consult with all recreational boating and fishing clubs seeking their views on the
       compulsory wearing of lifejackets, the compulsory wearing of lifejackets by minors,
       recreational boating standards, and the procedures for obtaining a motor boat licence;

   •   Examine the issues involved in the compulsory wearing of lifejackets including, when
       PFDs must be worn, wearing by minors and wearing by users of special craft such as
       jetskis;

   •   Review of current overseas and Australian legislation on boating safety equipment;
       and

   •   Examine the issues involved in the enforcement of boating rules.


2.3     Methodology
2.3.1 As the Terms of Reference were to conduct a wide ranging review, a methodology and
timetable was developed by MAST for the conduct of the review. In order to properly assess
the views of the boating community at large, it was felt that polling the boating clubs although
valuable, was not enough and that in order to gain maximum participation by the public, a
survey of all recreational boat owners was required. This was in preference to surveying all
motor boat licence holders, as records compiled before the formation of MAST in 1997 were
not sufficiently complete as to be meaningful for the survey. Therefore the broad outline of
the methodology involved in the review involved the following elements;

   a. Issues Paper. An issues paper for comment by boating clubs was developed. This
   paper briefly outlined the issues involved in the review and provided a template for
   responses. The subject headings of the paper are as follows:
       • Foreword
       • Background (including Terms of Reference)
       • Outcomes of Coronial Enquiries into Boating Deaths
       • Procedures for obtaining a Recreational Boating Licence
       • Issues involved in Compulsory wearing of Lifejacket
       • Safety Equipment
       • Enforcement
       • Boating Safety Education Resources
       • Format of Responses

   It should be noted that the Boating Safety Education Resources noted above, were not part
   of the review per se, but rather the Issues Paper was seen as a good vehicle for advising
   clubs of available resources, a paper on which had just been received from the Australian
   Search and Rescue Authority (AusSAR).

   150 Issues Papers were despatched to a wide range of boating and associated clubs in
   Tasmania of which 26 (17.3%) responses were received by the due date.

   b. Recreational Boating Safety Survey. A questionnaire containing 42 questions was
   developed within MAST for sending to all registered boat owners on the MAST database.
   The questionnaire was developed to give MAST a profile of the Tasmanian Boating
   Community as well seeking views on pertinent boating safety issues. A comments page



                                               21
was incorporated into the survey form for amplification as necessary. The Survey form
was designed to ensure the anonymity of the respondent to ensure frank responses.
Additionally a reply paid envelope was enclosed for the return of completed forms. The
subject headings of the survey questionnaire, were:
   • Boating Community Profile (Questions 1 – 12)
   • Safety equipment (Questions 13 – 26)
   • Enforcement (Questions 27 – 31)
   • Advertising (Questions 32 & 33)
   • Licensing (Questions 34 – 38)
   • Buoyancy – for runabouts and dinghies only (Questions 39 & 40)
   • Training (Questions 41 & 42)

Over 16,500 Survey forms were despatched of which 8,687 (52.6%) were returned by the
due date. Just on half of the returned forms had written comments.

c. Survey Database. In order that the response to the Survey could be collated and
interpreted a Microsoft Access database was developed by a MAST contractor to facilitate
the recording of the data by MAST and casual staff. The data was collated in a form
compatible to the SPSS statistical analysis computer program used by the Road Safety
Task Force unit of the Department of Land Transport.
The raw data was e-mailed by MAST to the Road Safety Task Force and run through the
data computer program under the guidance of the Task Force’s Manager Research. This
program allows for “cross tabbing” or cross-referencing of responses to a number of
questions or even part responses. It proved most valuable in interpreting the data.
The results gained from the computer were obtained in paper form both in absolute
numbers of responses and by percentages. This data was manually entered into a
Microsoft PowerPoint presentation utilising the graphics capability of that program.

d. Research. The Terms of Reference required the researching of coronial records, the
licensing and safety equipment of other states and other countries. In addition, previous
related studies were also researched. This research is summarised below.
        (i) Coronial Records. MAST maintains a database of records provided by the
        Coroner’s Office. This database is not specific to recreational boating incidents
        and therefore the database needed some interpretation. The MAST database
        shows a great deal of information which is considered generally sufficient for the
        purposes of conducting the review, however records were requested of the Coroner
        to enable further research. These records were not all available at the time of
        writing this report. Additionally three incidents involving ten fatalities in 1999
        have still to be investigated by the Coroner. Notwithstanding the foregoing,
        however it is considered that further research will not alter the results of review
        conducted thus far, but will enable MAST to further refine its prevention
        strategies.

       (ii) Other Australian States. A great deal of data regarding the requirements of
       other Australian states was already held in MAST. This information has been
       facilitated by MAST’s involvement in the National Marine Safety Committee
       (NMSC) and the Australia New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group
       (ANZSBEG). For example, a tabular comparison of each states safety equipment
       requirements is contained in an NMSC review of national recreational boating
       safety standards.


                                          22
          Where information was lacking, this was obtained both by telephone contact with
          representatives of other state marine authorities and Internet searches of relevant
          authority websites.

          (iii) Overseas Research. When looking at the requirements of other countries it
          was decided to research those other countries with a boating and cultural
          background similar to Australia. From this the requirements of New Zealand,
          Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America were ascertained.
          Initial research was conducted on the Internet and then personal contact was made
          via e-mail and telephone with representatives of all countries other than the USA,
          where comprehensive websites provided all the necessary information.
          Contact with New Zealand provided a copy of a similar review conducted in
          1998/99 and which is still under consideration by the New Zealand Government.
          In addition to information gathered on the Internet, regulations and promotional
          material was received from the Canadian Coast Guard and the Marine and
          Coastguard Authority of the United Kingdom.

   e. Further Public Consultation. Following the collation of the data collected in the
   Review, public meetings were held around the state to review the results of the responses
   to the Survey and the Issues Paper and to give the public a chance to comment on the
   initial findings of the review. Whilst the meetings were not well attended, the comments
   received proved quite valuable and assisted in the compilation of this report. Public
   meetings were held as follows;
                        Bicheno              28th March 2000
                        Hobart               29th March 2000
                        Launceston           5th April 2000
                        Burnie               6th April 2000

   f. Previous Studies. Three studies into pertinent aspects of this review have previously
   been conducted in Tasmania. These are covered in more detail in subsequent paragraphs
   and are summarised only below.
          • a review of the legislative requirements for motor boat registration, licensing
              and safety equipment was conducted on the formation of MAST in 1997,
          • a review of the compulsory wearing of lifejackets was conducted by MAST in
              1998
          • a survey of the marine weather forecast service in Tasmania was conducted by
              the Bureau of Meteorology in 1998


2.4     Previous Studies
2.4.1 As mentioned above, three previous studies into aspects related to the safety of
recreational boating in Tasmania have been conducted in recent years. These are discussed in
the following paragraphs.

2.4.2 Legislation.
MAST was formed in 1997 as a result of the formation of port companies of the former
Tasmanian Marine Boards. The functions and powers of MAST are contained in the Marine
and Safety Authority Act 1997, which require MAST among other things to ensure the safe
operation of vessels. Whilst the operation of commercial vessels was centralised under the


                                             23
former Navigation and Survey Authority of Tasmania (NASAT), the operation of recreational
vessels were the function of individual Marine Boards, each with differing standards to
varying degrees.

In order to provide uniformity in Tasmania and with other states, the requirements of
recreational vessels were reviewed in accordance with then current requirements. The
outcome was the promulgation of the Marine and Safety (Motor Boats and Licences) By-
Laws. The By-Laws was first made in 1997 and remade in 1998 with subsequent
amendments in 1999.

The review of the By-Laws in 1998 included among other things, the requirements for
registration and licensing and the carriage of safety equipment in registered recreational
vessels. In regard to the latter requirements, the compulsory items of safety equipment were
reduced from some fourteen items to five, with additional items being carried in certain
circumstances. These requirements reflected the general requirements of other states and a
common sense approach to requirements. The results of the survey where over 90% of all
registered boats have the required safety equipment vindicate this approach.
With respect to the wearing of lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), this was not
made compulsory in the By-Laws, again in line with the requirements of other states.

2.4.3 Compulsory Wearing of PFD Review 1998.
Following three recreational boating fatalities in early 1998, MAST was directed by the then
Government to review the introduction of mandatory wearing of lifejackets or PFDs in
recreational vessels. The review, which was completed in March 1998, involved:
        • Analysing the statistics on deaths in recreational boating in the last ten years;
        • Contacting other states and the Northern Territory to determine their requirements
           and their response to the issue of the compulsory wearing of PFDs; and
        • Contacting all state water safety and recreational boating groups to seek their
           views.

In general the review found that there was little support for the compulsory wearing of PFDs.
No other state had (or still has) a requirement for the compulsory wearing of PFDs, although
most said that they would consider making it compulsory when there was a lifejacket that was
wearable on all classes of boats, particularly sailing vessels and that was reasonably
affordable.

The response from the organisations polled encouraged the use of PFDs, but did not
recommend that wearing is mandatory. It was noted however that some organisations such as
the Boys Scouts and Naval Reserve Cadets which cater largely for teenagers and younger
people did make the wearing compulsory within their organisations.

The reasons for not recommending that wearing lifejackets be compulsory comprised many
arguments, most of which are still espoused. These include; inappropriate for the type of
vessel or activity, too hot, restrictive, bulky and can snag on equipment and the relatively high
cost of inflatable PFDs and the requiring for periodic maintenance. It was also noted that
there were other factors that led to deaths including hypothermia. Other items such as radios
and flares were seen as important issues to help cut down on time people spent in the water.

In summary, the general public response did not support the compulsory wearing of PFDs and
other Australian States shared this view. The MAST recommendation to the Government as a


                                               24
result of the 1998 review was not to make it compulsory to wear lifejackets for the following
reasons:
        • There is no clear evidence that compulsory wearing of lifejackets will significantly
            reduce boating related deaths;
        • Lifejackets are not an appropriate response in all situations;
        • A legislative response will not necessarily encourage greater wearing of
            lifejackets;
        • Enforcement will be difficult given the large length of coastline and the relatively
            few officers in Tasmania Police involved in marine policing; and
        • There are other safety equipment and training measures that should be included in
            an integrated approach to water safety.

Additionally, MAST recommended that in the first instance that a prolonged campaign to
improve the awareness of the need to wear a PFD should be adopted. This would be funded
by MAST as part of a water safety promotional package, which will highlight the benefits of
wearing PFDs as an essential element of a water safety regime.

Subsequently MAST ran a television advertisement starring Robert Clifford in 1998/99
recommending that PFDs be worn and also included the wearing of PFDs in a Water Safety
Week campaign. This involved among other things the advertising of wearing PFDs with the
slogan “Be Water Safe” on Metro buses in 1998 and 1999 and other promotional material.
This material in the form of free stickers is still being used by MAST. A further television
advertising campaign was run in 1999/2000 featuring boating safety requirements.

2.4.4 Bureau of Meteorology Marine Weather Forecast Survey - 1998.
The Tasmanian office of Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) conducted a review of both the
Tasmanian commercial and recreational boating communities with regards to adequacy of
weather services in March 1998. This was the first survey by BoM in ten years. The survey
sample was small, only 128 responses were received, of which 52 were recreational. Some 29
of these were from yacht owners and 15 from small boat owners. Although the sample was
small, the Bureau of Meteorology was satisfied that the results were indicative of the boating
community in general. The survey found that among other things, 90% of boats operated
within 5 miles of the coast and that a better breakdown of weather forecasts for particular
areas was required. It also revealed that all of the existing outlets for marine weather
forecasts were sufficiently utilised to warrant continued support.

The Bureau of Meteorology has since implemented revised procedures based on the results of
the survey, notably a more discrete breakdown of coastal areas for greater accuracy of
forecasts, simplified symbology on weather charts, establishment of additional weather
observation sites and the establishment of the waverider buoy system off Cape Sorell.




                                              25
3.0 INCIDENT ANALYSIS
3.1     Review of Coronial Records
3.1.1 A review of all recreational boating deaths between January 1987 and December 1999
inclusive, was conducted. This was primarily conducted from coronial records as compiled in
a MAST database. Access to original Coroner’s reports was also requested but these were not
all available by the time of the writing of this report. MAST is satisfied that the information
currently available is adequate for the purposes of this report and further research will not
alter the findings of this review but rather provide amplifying information which will enhance
the effectiveness of prevention strategies.

3.1.2 It should also be noted that three incidents involving ten fatalities in 1999 were still to
be investigated by the Coroner at the time of the writing of this report. However as MAST
personnel participated in the preliminary investigations of these incidents, technical details of
the vessels involved are known and have been incorporated in the report. Any personal
details have not been included and these will be covered in the Coronial inquiries. Again, this
information when known should not significantly alter the findings of the review.

3.1.3 When reviewing the findings of Coronial records, it is important to distinguish
between the number of fatalities and number of incidents, as there will be only one set of
contributing factors involved in an incident involving multiple fatalities. It is important that
this distinction be made. Therefore the records indicate that in the period in question, there
were 34 incidents which resulted in 46 fatalities.

3.1.4 It was the intention when reviewing coronial records to look for any types or causes
that could be classified as over represented. The results of the review and interpretation of the
statistics is outlined in the following paragraphs. This shows that marine fatalities are broadly
representative of the age of owners, most common type and size of boat and location of use.
The statistical analysis of the coronial records is at Appendix 1.
3.1.5 Incidents and Fatalities
34 incidents resulting in 46 fatalities occurred in the 13 years under review as shown at Table
1. Incidents occurred in all years except 1988 and incidents involving multiple fatalities
occurred in the years 1987, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999.

Year         87     88     89     90   91      92    92     94      95       96     97     98       99
Incidents    5      0      3       1   4       3      1      3       2       2      1      4         5
Fatalities   6      0      3       1   5       5      1      3       2       3      1      4        12
                         Table 1 – Numbers of Incidents and Fatalities

3.1.6 Age and Sex of Fatalities.
All victims except for one were male and the breakdown of ages is at Table 2. Table 3 shows
the age of fatalities compared with the age of owners of registered recreational boats owners.

The under 20 age group is disproportionately represented in as much that not all victims were
registered boat owners: two were children passengers and two fatalities occurred in non
registered craft. This age grouping comprised 6 of the 46 fatalities.




                                               26
The 21 to 30 age grouping is statistically over represented when compared to the average age
of registered boat owners. The number of fatalities in this age group comprised 8 of the 46
fatalities.

Persons over the age of 31 comprised 32 out of the 46 fatalities. . The number of fatalities
over the age of 31 is proportional to the corresponding ages of registered boat owners

Age           <10      11-20     21-30       31-40      41-50      51-60         61-70       N/K
Fatalities     2         5          8           6        10          7             7          1
                               Table 2 – Fatality age grouping

Age Group      <20          21-30         31-40         41-50           >50          N/K
Fatalities     15.2          17.4           13           21.8          30.4           2.2
Owners          0.6           5.7          17.9          25.7          47.5           2.7
Table 3 – Comparison of percentage age grouping of fatalities with age grouping of registered
                                       boat owners

3.1.7 Vessel Types Involved in Fatal Incidents.
Table 4 shows the number and types of vessels involved in fatal incidents. “Boat” means
runabouts and dinghies and accounts for 26 of the 34 fatal incidents. These vessels are
typically 3–5 metres in length.

Vessel Type          Boat        Canoe           Raft         Yacht        Sailboard         PWC
Fatal Incidents       26           3               2            1              1              1
                        Table 4 – No of fatal incidents by vessel type

3.1.8 Type of Boating Incident.
Table 5 gives a breakdown of the types of incidents. “Fall” means either falling off/out or
being thrown off/out of a vessel. “Swamped” indicates that the vessel was swamped and
capsized – this point is significant. “Sunk” indicates that the vessel suffered hull damage and
sank. “N/K” indicates the exact circumstances of the incident could not be established.
It should be noted that all fatalities resulted from the victims ending up in the water.

Incident Type             Fall           Swamped               Sunk                  Other
No of Incidents            8                16                  2                      8
                            Table 5 – Number of incidents by type

3.1.9    Incidents by Place.
The number of incidents by place is shown in Table 6. The breakdown is in the standard
Coroners format. What the figures show is that the majority of fatal incidents occur in
sheltered waters as defined by the Marine and Safety (Limits of Operational Areas) By-Laws.

Place                  River          Bay            Lake                  Sea           N/K
No of Incidents         13             5               7                    8             1
                          Table 6 – Number of incidents by place




                                              27
3.1.10 Incidents by Day and Season.
23 of the 34 incidents occurred on weekdays with 11 occurring on weekends. The
interpretation of incidents by season would indicate that recreational boating activity follows
the seasons, starting in late winter with the opening of the trout season in the lakes and then
peaking during the summer months. Fatalities are recorded for all months with the exception
of June and July. Table 7 shows the number of fatalities by season.

Season                  Winter               Spring            Summer             Autumn
Fatalities                4                    10                12                  8
                                 Table 7 – Incidents by season

3.1.11 Able to Swim/Wearing a PFD.
The Coroners records indicate that 10 of the victims were wearing PFDs. The records also
indicate that 18 of the victims were able to swim, but also that the swimming ability of a
further 18 victims is not known. This figure includes 10 victims involved in 3 incidents in
1999 yet to be investigated by the Coroner. The incidence of possible hypothermia is not
known in all cases, but is recorded by the coroner as a contributing cause in some incidents.
This includes those where the victim was wearing a PFD. The interpretation here is that
whilst 10 out of 46 fatalities were wearing PFDs, the device did not save their life. This is
consistent with warnings on PFDs and the possibility of suffering hypothermia and/or
drowning whilst wearing a PFD.

3.1.12 Alcohol.
The Coroners records indicate that alcohol was a factor in 8 out of the 34 incidents which
equates to just under 25%. Alcohol was not recorded as a factor in 21 incidents with 5 not
known. This incudes 3 incidents still to be investigated.


3.2     Summary of Coronial Records
3.2.1   The research of coronial records can be summarised as follows:
        • 34 recreational boating incidents resulting in 46 fatalities during the years 1987 to
           1999 inclusive.
        • All but one victim was male
        • The majority of victims were over 30, but the 21-30 age grouping is over
           represented.
        • The majority of vessels involved in incidents were runabouts and dinghies.
        • The majority of incidents involved boats swamping and capsizing, with victims
           falling or being thrown out of the vessel the next highest cause.
        • Incidents occurred in all waters, with the majority occurring in sheltered waters as
           defined by MAST By-Laws. Incidents in inland lakes represented 20% of the total
           number of incidents.
        • Incidents occurred in all seasons, with the majority occurring in Spring and
           Summer months.
        • Incidents occurred on all days with the majority occurring on weekdays.
        • The majority of victims were not wearing PFDs. Those that were still perished.
        • Alcohol was noted a factor in 25% of incidents




                                              28
4.0 SURVEY ANALYSIS

4.1     Overview
4.1.1 This section of the Review cover the responses to both the Survey form sent to all
registered boat owners and the responses by clubs and associations to the Issues Paper. For
ease of reading, the responses to both Survey and Issues paper will be combined under the
topical headings as outlined in the Survey. This will be supplemented by any comments made
under additional headings not included in the survey. The full responses in graphical form to
the Survey are contained at Appendix 2 and to the Issues Paper at Appendix 3.

The response to the Survey was very gratifying and a comparison of details held on MAST’s
recreational boat database against the answers to questions regarding age of owners, number
and size of boats has revealed that the results are indicative of the boating community as a
whole. It was therefore considered unnecessary to apply any weighting to the Survey
responses.


4.2     Survey Analysis
4.2.1 Boating Community Profile.
Questions 1 to 12 of the Survey from were designed to give an overall profile of the
recreational boating practices in Tasmania.
.
The majority of registered boat owners in Tasmania are male, (94.1%) over the age of 40
(73.2%) and own either a runabout (55.4%) or dinghy (24.3%) in the length range 3–5 metres
(91%). Overall, 71.9% of Tasmanian recreational boaters don’t belong to any club or
association and this figure rises to nearly 79.6% when applied to owners of runabouts and
dinghies only. Tasmanians boat in all waters, with most (77.3%) boating close to land in
what are termed “sheltered waters” under MAST Limits of Operational Areas By-Laws.

Some 22.7% of Tasmanians proceed more than 2 nautical miles from the coast with 7.6%
proceeding further than 5 nautical miles. Just over one-third (33.5%) percent of Tasmanians
boat in inland waters. The overwhelming reason for boating is fishing (82.7%).

The percentage frequency of boating and number of trips with children is shown in Table 8.

Number                    <10            11-20           21-30            >30             N/K
Trips per Year            21.4            37.2             18.3           22.4             0
Trips with Children       72.0            14.8             3.9             3.3            6.0
                                  Table 8 – Trips per year

In response to the Question “ have you ever experienced a situation that gave rise to safety
concerns?” the affirmative response to this question was 41.1%. This is considered to be a
surprisingly high number and if this had been anticipated further amplifying questions would
have been included in the survey form. In an attempt to gain a better understanding the
affirmative response were broken down vessel types as shown in Table 9. It is interesting to
note that when the response is broken down into vessel type, the larger the vessel, the more
the experience of cause for concern.

Vessel Type              Yacht       Cabin Cruiser     Runabout         Dinghy           PWC
Cause for Concern         61.9            44.1           39.0            38.1            34.8
                         Table 9 – Cause for concern by vessel type


                                             29
The analysis of the responses to the Boating Community Profile questions of the survey has
allowed the profile of the “Typical Tasmanian Recreational Boater” to be ascertained. This is
summarised as follows:
       • Male
       • Over 40
       • Has been boating for over 20 years
       • Main reason for boating is fishing
       • Owns a dinghy or runabout 3 to 5 metres in length
       • Boats mainly in sheltered waters as defined by the Limits of Operational Areas
           By-Laws
       • One third boat in inland lakes
       • Boats 11-20 times per year
       • Does not belong to a club or association
       • Takes children boating less than 10 times per year
       • May or may not wear a PFD
       • Makes children wear a PFD
       • Carries the required safety equipment

4.2.2 Safety Equipment.
Questions 13 to 24 of the Survey related to safety equipment, as did a section of the Issues
Paper. This section adds to the boating community profile as well as discussion on the terms
of reference items relating to safety equipment and the compulsory wearing of PFDs.

a. Normal Wearing of PFDs.
The Survey revealed that 48.5% of adults and 88.2% of children wear PFDs in the normal
course of boating. When applied to runabouts and dinghies, the percentage of wearing by
adults increases by 10% in the case of dinghies. There is a very slight increase in wearing in
runabouts. This is shown in Table 10.

Wearing of PFDs                             No                              Yes
Survey overall                             50.1                             48.5
Dinghies                                  39.5                              59.5
Runabouts                                 48.8                              49.8
                           Table 10 – Wearing of PFDs by adults

The Survey showed that 88.2% of children normally wear PFDs. This was generally
indicative of all vessel types, with only a slight increase in smaller vessel types: dinghies
89.4% and runabouts 90.4%.

b. Obtaining of Weather Forecasts.
Sources of obtaining weather forecasts are shown in the Table 11. The major sources of
boating weather information are television and newspaper. It should be noted that in effect if
a person was going boating on a particular day using either the television forecast from the
night before or that day’s newspaper, they would be accessing old data, up to almost 24 hours
old. For example, evening television forecasts are based on 4pm data of that day and
newspaper forecast are based on 4pm data from the day before updated to 6pm.




                                              30
Bureau of Meteorology forecasts are most current on the Bureau’s Internet website, faxback
and telephone services. Radio also provides the means for updated forecasts but dedicated
coastal weather forecasts are infrequently broadcast. 6.6% of respondents indicated “other”
for medium of obtaining forecasts. This is assumed to include those people who use coastal
radio stations, including the volunteer networks and those who ‘look out of the window’ for
an opinion based on their experience and judgement.

Medium        TV        Newspaper   Radio       Phone      Internet        Fax        Other
Usage         43.9        33.7       25.7        12.9        4.4           3.9         6.6
                           Table 11 – Source of weather forecast

c. Notification of Trip/Explanation of Safety Equipment/Servicing of Engines.
It is pleasing to note that 92.4% of boaters inform someone where they are going and when
they will be back. 95.7% of respondents indicate that they regularly service their engines. Of
most concern is that only 63.2% of boat owners show their passengers the location and use of
the safety equipment onboard.

d. Safety Signage
The Survey revealed that only 46.9%of people believe that there is adequate safety signage at
the place where they usually go boating. Comments regarding signage includes:
        • More required especially at inland lakes
        • Signage to include speed limits, known hazards and warnings
        • To include any limitations and designated use areas
        • Solar powered strobe lights are required for inland lakes

e. Compulsory Wearing of PFDs
      (i) Adults
      The compulsory wearing of PFDs by adults is perhaps the most emotive and polarised
      issue of the whole review. Although 50.1% of adults do not wear PFDs in the normal
      course, 59.2% do not believe that wearing should be compulsory. This means that
      9.1% of people who currently wear PFDs do not believe that they should be
      compulsory.

       The breakdown of the Yes and No cases in responses to the Survey and the Issues
       paper were similar. They are summarised under.

       The Yes case is that compulsory wearing;
          • Saves lives
          • Is insurance against unforseen events
          • Enhances the safety culture
          • Should be for certain vessels only i.e. dinghies, runabouts and PWC
          • Should be for non swimmers only
          • Should be in certain circumstances only such as in open boats and exposed
             decks

       The No case for compulsory wearing;
             • Bulky, hot, uncomfortable, restrictive
             • Inappropriate for the type of activity such as fly fishing, diving, driving ski
                 boats, at anchor



                                              31
               •   Inappropriate for certain types of vessels such as yachts and cabin cruisers
                      • Wearing can be dangerous in that the PFD could snag on pots nets
                          and other equipment.
                      • Wearing should be personal choice.

       (ii) Children
       Notwithstanding of the comments made above in relation to adults, the Survey
       overwhelming supported the compulsory wearing of PFDs by children by 90.6%. The
       age cut off for wearing was less clear as shown in Table 12.

Age Cut Off        Under 8        Under 12        Under 16      No Cut Off           N/K
Response              4.0             17.7          27.0           40.5              10.8
              Table 12 – Age cut off for compulsory wearing of PFDs by children

g. Capacity Plates.
The majority of respondents (86.3%) indicated that they believe that all boats should be fitted
with a manufacturer’s plate showing maximum engine rating and load capacity of the boat.
This response was supported by written comments.

h. Greatest Risk to Boating.
The perceived risks to boating are shown in Table 13. Weather was the greatest risk (38.2%),
closely followed by lack of knowledge/skill (37.7%). This question generated the most
written comment, and comments from both the Survey and Issues Paper regarding the above
two topics are summarised under. For ease of addressing these issues later in the Review,
lack of knowledge/skill has been termed Culture/Attitudes.
        (i) Weather
               • Unpredictable nature of Tasmanian weather
               • Weather not generally understood
               • Forecasts are ignored by boaters
               • There should be more regular and comprehensive forecasts
               • The current telephone service (1900 number) is too expensive, should be a
                   toll free service
               • There should be improved forecasting and accessibility in the highlands
                   and other remote areas
               • Better weather education
               • There should be comprehensive weekend forecasts

       (ii) Culture/Attitudes
              • Lack of commonsense
              • Irresponsibility
              • Inexperience
              • Complacency
              • Ignorance
              • Unfamiliarity
              • People unaware of personal limitations
              • Lack of safety cultures
              • People should be encourage to join boating clubs




                                              32
Risk             Weather      Alcohol      Overloading       Knowledge/Skill   Unfamiliarity
Response          38.2          17.1           12.3               37.7             8.5
                       Table 13 – Greatest perceived risk to boating

It should be noted that the remedy to Culture/Attitude issues was seen to be education.
Comments relating to education issues include the following:
       • MAST should educate not legislate
       • Start at an early age
       • A national approach was required
       • Boating safety to be included in school curricula
       • Practical training required
       • Training in emergency situations required
       • TV advertising, videos, printed material and use of the Internet are required
       • Assistance to be sought from the Bureau of Meteorology for weather education
       • Greater MAST attendance at forums such as boat shows, club meetings etc
       • Better promotion of Water Safety Week
       • More money to be spent on education
       • Education system readily accessible and finance by government
       • Club membership should be encouraged
       • Wader safety courses are required
       • PFD guidelines are required

i. Carriage of Safety Equipment.
There were two questions in the Survey and a section in the Issues Paper relating to the
carriage of safety equipment by both registered vessels and those that are currently not
required to be registered.
        (i) Registered Vessels
        Overall the Survey indicated that there was good compliance with required safety
        equipment with the over 90% carriage of the 5 main items of safety equipment. The
        main discrepancy in the five items was the carriage of a fire extinguisher with a
        carriage rate of 87.2%. The Survey revealed that more people carry flares than are
        required to do so, but fewer people carry EPIRBs than are required to. Additionally
        many people carry in excess of the minimum requirements. Tables 14 and 15 show
        the response rates of carriage of safety equipment.
        Overall most people and clubs believe that the current list of safety equipment
        requirements is adequate. There were additional comments made about compulsory
        safety equipment as follows:
                • Safety equipment was too expensive
                • Flares in particular had too short a life
                • Government should subsidise safety equipment
                • Wetsuit’s and Neoprene waders should be allowed as substitutes for PFDs
                • Mobile telephones should be allowed as substitutes for carriage of marine
                   radio
                • Blue and Green PFDs (ie non SOLAS colours) should be approved for
                   inland lakes
                • Yacht clubs believed that they should be governed by the provisions of the
                   AYF “Blue Book”
                • There should be a national standard for the carriage of safety equipment


                                             33
                   •     There should be separate requirement for PWC

            With regards to the carriage of additional safety equipment, it should be noted that of
            the following items, most are currently either required or recommended in certain
            circumstances. Additionally, some of the additional equipment recommended is
            suitable only for larger craft. The additional items recommended by 3 clubs is:
                    • Electric bilge pump
                    • First Aid kit
                    • Radio torch
                    • Chart (for offshore)
                    • Flares
                    • Water compass (for vessels over 4.5metres)
                    • EPIRB
                    • Dinghy/liferaft for longer voyages
                    • Sea anchor             Extinguisher
                    Propulsion
Equipment




                                    Anchor




                                                                                                      EPIRB
                                                                                             Bailer
                                                                    Flares



                                                                                   PFD
                       Aux




                                                 Fire
Safety




Compliance             92.9       95.5      87.2         62.1        94.2                   93.9      9.6
                                   Table14 – Carriage of safety equipment
                                                                             Reflector
                                                  First Aid
Equipment




                                                                                         harness
                                                                   Water
                        Radio




                                                                              Radar
                                   Torch




                                                                                          Yacht
Safety




Compliance             43         51.2       55.2        40.9          5.6                  5.8
                                    Table 15 – Carriage of safety equipment

            (ii) Non Registered Vessels
            In response to the Survey question regarding the compulsory carriage of safety
            equipment by non registered vessels, 65.7% of respondents and two clubs believe that
            this should be the case.


4.2.3 Enforcement.
Questions 27 to 31 of the Survey and a section of the Issues Paper dealt with enforcement
issues. This subject also generated much written comment. The Survey revealed that 65.7%
of Tasmanians boaters have never encountered any law enforcement presence. Of the people
that have, 17.7% has been within the last two years and 15.7% in excess of two years ago.

With regards to knowledge and compliance of boating regulations, must people (94.9%)
indicated their knowledge of boating regulations but believe compliance with the regulations



                                                              34
by others was generally poor with only 17% complying with regulations more than 75% of
the time.

60% of respondents indicated that they had observed other boat operators to be operating
vessels under the influence of alcohol, with 64.3% of respondents being in favour of random
breath testing (RBT).

Comments in respect to enforcement and alcohol issues were:
     • There should be more enforcement
     • Heftier penalties
     • MAST and Police to issue infringement notices only, other organisations
         encouraged to report breaches of regulations
     • There should be random breath testing (RBT)
     • There should be a friendly face on the water and at boat ramps to educate boaters
     • Enforcement should take place at boat ramps as well as on the water
     • Boat ramp checks should include seaworthiness checks
     • Enforcement should concentrate on unregistered boats and unlicenced operators
     • Speed limits should be enforced
     • There should be a demerit points system for licences
     • Alcohol should be banned on the water
     • There should be an alcohol limit of 0.05 absolute
     • There should be a limit of 0.05 for operators of vessels whilst underway

In addition to the above comments, it should be noted that some people believed enforcement
to be a revenue raising exercise only and MAST was also cautioned not to introduce any new
requirement(s) that would be difficult to enforce.

4.2.4 Advertising.
The Survey included two questions, which were designed in assisting MAST in determining
future advertising strategies. Registered boat owners were asked to rank the type of
advertising that worked best for them and also rank the preferred advertising medium.
Television was by far the most preferred medium (65.3%) with shock/graphic footage the
favoured type of advertising. The responses to these two questions are at Tables 16 and 17.

Favoured Type        Shock/Graphic Survivor’s Story          Education        Media Personality
response                 39.9               22.5                32.3                  4.6
                           Table 16 – Preferred type of advertising

Favoured        TV        Radio      News-      Cinema Magazine            Club        Mailout
Medium                               paper                               Newsletter
Response      65.3         6.4        15.1        1.3         3.1           3.2             8.3
                          Table 17 – Preferred advertising medium

4.2.5 Licensing.
Most people (75%) believed that the current licence theory test is satisfactory, however 58.3%
believed that there should be a practical licence test.

In response to graduated licences for such things as engine size and length of vessel the
responses were inconclusive with 49.9% believing that is was not required.


                                              35
With regard to Personal Water Craft (PWC) or jetskis, 66.3% of respondents believed that
there should be separate licences for PWC. PWC were also the subject of a great deal of
adverse comment both in the Survey and Issues Paper.
Some 81% of the respondents saw a need to designate zones for recreational activities on the
water.

Comments received in response to this section are as follows.
     a. Licensing
            • Practical training is required
            • There should be approved courses conducted by accredited training
                providers
            • There should be a written test to renew
            • There should be probational licences
            • The minimum age of licence holder should be reviewed
            • Licences should be vessel type specific
            • 5 yearly renewable
            • AYF TL3 training should be implemented
            • Swimming and fitness test required
            • No compulsory practical licence test – elective training to be conducted
                within schools

       b. Required Elements of Licence Training
             • Weather
             • Currents
             • Stability
             • Overloading
             • Fatigue and alcohol
             • Reboarding from the water
             • PFDs
             • Safety equipment
             • Engine maintenance
             • First aid
             • Vessel type specific
             • Anchoring
             • Berthing
             • Retrieving objects from the water
             • PWC specific
             • Small and large craft

       c. PWC (Jetskis)
            • PWC are noisy and a nuisance
            • Operators do not comply with boating regulations, they speed close to
                other vessels and swimmers
            • Many are unregistered
            • Operators have a lack of respect for other users
            • There should be designated areas for PWC.




                                             36
4.2.6 Buoyancy.
The two questions in the Survey (39 and 40) relating to buoyancy were specifically directed at
runabouts and dinghies. The purpose of the questions was to ascertain how many owners
believe their boats to have adequate buoyancy in the light of the number of boats that have
capsized in fatal incidents. 63.3% of dinghy owners and 54% percent of runabout owners
believed that their boats would remain upright if swamped. 30.8% and 38% respectively
replied that they did not know, with the remainder, dinghies (4.6%) and runabouts (6.6%)
replying in the negative.

Question 40 sought to establish where buoyancy was actually fitted in dinghies and runabouts.
The results are shown in Table 18.

Fitted Buoyancy      Under Floor          In Seats        Along Sides          None Fitted
Dinghies                11.5                87.4               5.0                4.4
Runabouts               58.0                41.4              12.3                7.2
                     Table 18 – Fitted buoyancy-dinghies and runabouts

Comments received regarding buoyancy and stability include the following:
     • Positive flotage to be compulsory
     • Boats to remain upright if swamped
     • Buoyancy information to be made available and advice on increasing buoyancy be
         advised
     • Side buoyancy required
     • Capacity plates required
     • Home built craft should be inspected prior to registration
     • Boats over 350mm freeboard to have stern boarding rungs

4.2.7 Further Training.
The Survey concluded with two questions regarding further training. Owners were asked if
they would take advantage of further training if available. The response was No 48.5%, Yes
46.2%, with 5.4% not known. In response to type of training, practical was most popular with
46.1%, followed by video 22.2%, classroom (theory) 15.6% and Internet 3.5%.


4.3     Other Issues Paper Responses
4.3.1   Comments received in response to the Issues Paper not covered above are as follows.

        a. Use of Coastal Radio Network.
        Greater use of the Tasmanian coastal radio network was promoted. This network is
        manned by volunteer organisations and provides an almost statewide coverage on a
        number of frequencies including HF, VHF and 27Mhz. This system also uses the
        MAST/RYCT VHF repeaters around the state. The response promoted the use of
        VHF over 27Mhz due to unreliability in the form of “skip” and interference to other
        frequencies. Some volunteer stations will be ceasing to monitor 27Mhz in 2000.

        b. Inland Lakes.
        There was seen a need for provision of updated maps of the inland lakes areas as well
        as properly constructed jetties.




                                              37
c. Fisheries Legislation.
People commented in Survey and Issues paper about the legal equipment for owners
to be present when hauling pots and for the hauling of graball nets in certain time
frames. This was amplified in the public meetings. Concern was expressed that these
requirements forced people to compromise on safety by either overloading or boating
in adverse weather circumstances, due to deterioration in the weather following the
laying of gear.




                                     38
5.0    RISK REDUCTION
5.1    Overview
5.1.1 The preceding sections have provided an analysis of a review of Coroner returns and
the boating public’s views with the regards to boating safety. With respect to the Coroner’s
records there is one prominent fact; all fatal recreational incidents resulted in the victims
ending up in the water. As reported, 10 were wearing PFDs but they still perished.

5.1.2 The primary aim of any safe boating program has to be that of risk reduction. That is
strategies should be put into place to reduce the probability or likelihood of potential fatal
incidents and then to minimise the consequences should an incident occur.


5.2. Reducing the Likelihood (Hazard Reduction)
5.2.1 The overriding goal of risk reduction strategies should be directed at preventing
boaters from ending up in the water. This is vital in Tasmania in view of the low water
temperatures experienced in both coastal and inland waters. The risk of drowning is ever
present but this is exacerbated by the potential for victims to suffer from hypothermia in a
very quick time frame. The following tables show times from when victims’ survivability is
considered marginal. The source of water temperatures for coastal waters is the Australia
Pilot Vol. II (Admiralty Sailing Directions). The Inland Lakes temperatures have been
averaged from those of six highlands lakes as provided by the Inland Fisheries Service and the
hypothermia times have been interpreted from a table supplied by the Australian Maritime
College. It should be noted that the times refer to an “average person” and may well be less
for the frail and for young children.

                                     Inland Waters
Month                         January              May                  Jul               November
Mean Surface Temp             17.740C             8.320C              5.50C                12.30C
Time to Marginal               4.25hrs            0.75hr              0.5hr                1.5hrs
                 Table 19 – Marginal hypothermia times for inland lakes


                                     Coastal Waters
Month                          February             May               August              November
                                   0                  0
Mean Surface Temp                16 C               13 C              11.50C                130C
Time to Marginal                2.25hrs            1.5hrs             1.25hrs              1.5hrs
                 Table 20 – Marginal hypothermia times for coastal waters

Note: The temperatures shown above are mean temperatures and lower temperatures do
occur in both inland and coastal waters. In temperatures lower than those indicated in the
above tables the marginal time for hypothermia will be less than indicated.

5.2.2 The risk to Tasmanian boaters is also exacerbated both by the length of coastline
(more than that of New South Wales and Victoria combined) and the amount of inland lakes
and other waterways. The long shoreline and the small number of recreational boats means
that recreational boating may take place in Tasmania in reasonably isolated areas.
Consequently, it may take quite some time for assistance to be provided.




                                              39
5.3     Minimising the Consequences
5.3.1 If reduction strategies prove ineffective or fail for any reason, then it is important that
strategies to minimise the consequences are in place. In respect to recreational boating, this
means strategies to maximise the chances of survival and rescue should persons end up in the
water. In many ways these are “last resort” strategies.


5.4    Strategies
5.4.1 Section 6 of this report will deal with the identification of hazards and then discuss
ways in which hazards may be reduced.

5.4.2 Section 7 will examine those strategies to minimise the consequences potential fatal
incidents in the event of failure of reduction strategies.

5.4.3 Section 8 will discuss the options and associated costs for implementations for the
selected strategies.




                                               40
6.0    HAZARD REDUCTION
6.1    Overview
6.1.1 The analysis of MAST investigations, and Coroner’s reports and the public comment
received in response to both the Survey and the Issues paper have allowed a number of
hazards to safe boating to be identified and reduction strategies to be formulated. These are
discussed in the following paragraphs.


6.2     Weather
6.2.1 Hazards.
Weather has been determined by the public to pose the greatest risk to boating, just ahead of
lack of skills and awareness. The comments received indicate that weather in Tasmania is
unpredictable and changeable, not generally understood or ignored by the recreational boating
public. It is also felt that there should be more regular and comprehensive forecasts. There is
also seen to be shortcomings in the nature and accessibility of forecast for the highlands and
general dissatisfaction with the costs of the current 1900 telephone forecast service, which
costs 75cents per minute to access. This last fact is significant in that calls to the 1900
number are now are on average only 10% of those to the previous local call cost number.
This is a dramatic reduction. The public’s perception of weather as a significant boating
hazard is borne out by the part that weather has been observed to play in fatal boating
incidents.

The introduction to the 1998 Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) survey appears to share the
public concern by stating:
“People who actively participate in marine related activities in Tasmanian waters are among
those who are the most vulnerable to the vagaries of the variable weather conditions which are
typical of the “roaring” forties. And Tasmania’s complex coast-line, combined with a close
proximity to mountainous areas, adds to the weather effects with which Mariners have to
contend. The………”

Subsequent to the 1998 survey, the BoM made a number of changes to the Tasmanian
Boating Weather Forecast increasing the number of forecast areas into 10 discrete areas
including Inland Waters and by simplifying the symbology on the Tasmanian Coastal Wind
and Swell Charts. The survey indicated that BoM should also maintain the then current
outlets for forecast distribution.

Up to date and comprehensive Tasmanian coastal weather forecasts can be obtained from the
Internet (Appendix 4), Weather by Fax service, which also provides wind and swell
information (Appendix 5) and by a 1900 telephone call service. The BoM also provides the
updated forecast to the volunteer radio stations network. It is a paradox however that the
aforementioned services are the least used according to the Recreational Boating Safety
Survey. The results of the Survey previously shown at Table 11 are replicated under at Table
21 for ease of reading.

Medium        TV        Newspaper    Radio       Phone      Internet       Fax         Other
Usage         43.9         33.7       25.7        12.9        4.4          3.9          6.6
                            Table 21 – Source of weather forecast




                                              41
The reasons behind the relative small use of the 1900 telephone number were as advised in
the survey due to the costs involved. The service costs 75cents per minute and the full
forecast takes around some 4 minutes. It is surmised that the Internet and Weather by Fax
services are not well patronised because of the lack of access to this equipment by Tasmanian
boaters. This may also be reflected in the fact that there would appear to be an aging boating
population in Tasmania.

The most popular means of obtaining weather forecast are by television, newspaper and radio.
As previously discussed, the television and newspaper forecasts are based on information
provided by the BoM at 4pm of the day in question, with the newspaper receiving an update
at 6pm. By the time the boating activity takes place the forecast may be over 12 hours old
and weather may have significantly changed. It should also be noted that neither the
television nor newspaper give the full Tasmanian boating forecast, rather it is generalised by
coastal areas. The reason for this is understood by availability of time on television where
programs are syndicated and by space availability in the newspapers. Radio stations, whilst
being provided with and able to broadcast updated detailed forecasts currently do not do so.
Again the reason appears to be time, which in some circumstances is limited by syndication.

6.2.2           Hazard Reduction Strategy.
Strategies to minimise the likelihood of weather contributing to a fatal incident need to be two
pronged. Firstly a campaign to increase the boating public’s understanding of maritime
weather, including forecasting methods and terminology, needs to be conducted and secondly,
up to date weather forecasts need to be more accessible to the boating public.
        a. Awareness
        To increase the boating public’s awareness and understanding of weather and its
        potential dangers, the following actions are recommended:
                • Promote the publication of the Bureau of Meteorology publication “Wind
                    Waves Weather Tasmania”
                • Produce and promote in concert with the BoM, a Tasmanian one page
                    “Guide to Marine Weather Services” leaflet
                • Conduct an appropriate strategic advertising campaign
                • Review the Motor Boat Licence Test and approved courses to ensure
                    inclusion of weather issues

       b. Accessibility
       To improve the accessibility of weather forecasts, MAST recommends the following
       actions:
               • Promote the services offered by the volunteer coastal radio stations
                 network including the promulgation of weather forecasts and marine
                 warnings
               • Liase with the BoM to include a “Small Craft Boating Alert” warning in
                 forecasts to align with Strong Wind Warnings
               • Liaise with the BoM and the various media services, particularly radio, to
                 facilitate the promulgation of a regular of the comprehensive and up to date
                 Tasmanian Boating Weather Forecast.
               • In concert with the BoM, initiate a less costly telephone forecast service.
                 Ideally this should be a “fixed price – cost neutral” service
               • Promote the new telephone service in publications and on existing and
                 future safety signage



                                               42
6.3      Buoyancy
6.3.1 Hazards.
Buoyancy issues include both overloading and the inability of a vessel to remain upright if
swamped. Both require an awareness of capabilities and limitations vessel by their owners.
The review of coroners records reveal that swamping and capsizing of runabouts and dinghies
to be a contributing factor in nearly 50% of all fatal boating incidents. Overloading can be
attributed to a combination of the number of people in a boat, the amount of gear loaded and
fitted equipment in the boat including the engine. Overloading can reduce freeboard such that
the boat can be easily swamped and capsize, even in minimal weather conditions. This
includes the boat being swamped by its own wake on stopping. Overloading may also affect
stability in that inadvertent movement or incorrect distribution of weights (including people)
can cause the boat to capsize with little warning. Experience has shown that boats with low
freeboard at the stern are susceptible to water entering the motor control cable cut outs at the
stern and that this may occur without the knowledge of the occupants. Experience has also
shown that vessels that capsize do so quickly, and without adequate buoyancy are prone to
float with a stern down/bow up attitude. This has resulted in the occupants unable to access
safety equipment including PFDs that are traditionally stowed in bow compartments in small
craft.

If a boat has too little buoyancy or is fitted with buoyancy that is either inadequate or
unevenly distributed, the boat will not remain upright if swamped. Experience shows that a
boat once capsized is not easily righted.

Australian Standard AS 1799.1-1992, Small Pleasure Boats Code – Part 1 General
Requirements for Power Boats requires that: “open boats less than 7.5 m in length and not
fully enclosed shall be fitted with reserve buoyancy so distributed that the boat will remain
upright and level when swamped in smooth water”. (It should be noted that this requirement
although desirable, does not apply to boats in construction but should be applied to all new
designs less than 7.5m in length.) The method of calculating the amount of buoyancy and
location is given in the Standard. Similarly AS 1799.1 gives the methods of calculating
maximum engine rating for each type of boat and loading capacity of boats based on an
assumed weight of 75kg body weight per person and 15kg of stores per person. The
Standard further requires that boats be fitted with a Capacity Plate, which among other things
are to specify maximum engine power and maximum number of persons in both sheltered and
open waters.

In Australia however, it is not a legal requirement in any state for boats to be constructed in
accordance with AS 1799 or be fitted with reserve of buoyancy or a manufacturer’s capacity
plate. In practice however, many manufacturers affix capacity plates to boats advising
loadings and engine power, but some do not. Also, the presence of a capacity plate does not
either state or signify that the boat is constructed in accordance with the Australian Standard.
In practice, most boats including those fitted with buoyancy material are probably not
provided with an adequate reserve and distribution of buoyancy to allow the boat to remain
upright if swamped, by the manufacturer in the normal course.

In the course of the Survey, owners of dinghies and runabouts were asked (Questions 39 and
40) if their boats would remain upright if swamped, and where any buoyancy was fitted in
their boat. The responses indicate that 63.3% of dinghy owners and 54% of runabout owners
believed that their boat would remain upright if swamped. When asked when buoyancy was
fitted in boats, the majority of runabout buoyancy is fitted under the floor (58%) and in the


                                               43
seats of dinghies (87.4%) – see Table 18. It may well be that unless fitted in accordance with
the Australian Standard, under floor and in seat buoyancy will not keep the boat upright or
prevent it from capsizing, it but allow it to float upside down. This can be confirmed from
knowledge gained in incident investigations of boats involved in fatal incidents, where boats
with under floor and in seat buoyancy, have indeed capsized and floated upside down stern
heavy (due to weight of the motor(s)). Therefore, it is possible that many of those that
answered in the affirmative to the buoyancy questions in the Survey might be mistaken. In all
probability even experienced persons cannot make a judgement on adequacy of buoyancy by
observation alone. The calculations as outlined in AS 1799-1 needs to be made. Perhaps the
most telling statistic with regards to buoyancy is that 30.8% of dinghy owners and 38% of
runabout owners don’t know if their boats would remain upright if swamped.

6.3.2 Hazard Reduction Strategy.
In determining strategies to reduce the risk of overloading and inadequate buoyancy in
recreational craft, the requirements of other Australian states and selected overseas countries
were examined. As previously mentioned, it is currently not a requirement of any Australian
state for recreational vessels to be constructed to the Australian Standard. Examination of the
requirements of Canada, USA, New Zealand and UK show that only Canada requires
recreational vessels to be constructed to a standard. However it is a requirement in New
South Wales, Queensland, Canada and USA for vessels to be fitted with a capacity plate. In
Canada and the USA, the manufacturer must affix this plate. New South Wales and
Queensland provide stick on labels for those boats where no manufacturer’s plate is fitted.
The stick on label comes with amplifying instructions on how to calculate boat loading and
stick on numbers for the number of persons are provided for inserting in a space provided on
label. An example of such a label is at Appendix 6.

However desirable it may be for Tasmania to insist on only those boats which have been
constructed to Australian Standard 1799 to be allowed in Tasmania, this is considered
impractical at this time. It can only realistically be accomplished on a national basis.

To reduce the hazards that exist due to buoyancy related issues by the following measures are
recommended:
       • Introduce the compulsory requirement for all registered recreational boats in
           Tasmania to be fitted with a Capacity Plate. Where the manufacturer does not
           already provide these, adhesive labels will be provided by MAST. These will
           similar to those currently provided in New South Wales and Queensland.
       • Conduct an ongoing awareness campaign supplemented by printed material
           alerting the boating public to the dangers of overloading and inadequate reserve of
           buoyancy. This will include advice on how buoyancy can be improved. The
           campaign could be conducted along the lines of “Stay in Your Boat”.
       • The issue of construction standards of recreational boats is raised at the National
           Marine Safety Committee (NMSC).


6.4    Licensing
6.4.1 Hazards.
The Terms of Reference of the review specified the examination of procedures for obtaining a
motor boat licence. This also required comparison of licensing requirements of other
Australian states and selected overseas countries. In view of this requirement the subject of



                                              44
licensing was included in both the Survey and Issues Paper. Coronial records were also
reviewed to ascertain if licensing was an issue in fatal incidents.

The identified hazard is that if the current licensing procedures are inadequate, then people
with lack of knowledge and/or skill will present a risk to themselves and their passengers on
the water.

Current procedures are for licence applicants to undergo a multiple choice written test
conducted at Service Tasmania office. Accredited training providers may also conduct the
test. The content of information required in to complete the test is contained in the Tasmanian
Safe Boating Handbook. The test comprises 25 questions of which 5 safety related questions
must be answered correctly. The pass mark is 75%. The test may vary slightly as conducted
by Training Providers, however sample examinations are required to be approved by MAST.
The cost of undertaking the licence test at Service Tasmania is $10.00 and licences are issued
free of charge. Those licences that have been issued since the formation MAST expire on the
31st December 2002. The procedure for renewal has not yet been determined.

The examination of coronial records does not show that inadequate licensing procedures is a
contributing factor in incidents, by way of indicating that licence holders are inexperienced.
If anything they indicate the contrary to be the case. That is, older more experienced people
are involved in fatal incidents.

The perception of the general boating public as demonstrated by responses to the Survey and
Issues paper is that lack of knowledge and skill is a risk to safe boating. Although most
people agree that the current theory test is satisfactory, 58.3% of Survey respondents and 25
out of the 26 clubs or associations believed that a practical test was required. The one
dissenting submission was from a currently accredited Training Provider. This will be
addressed under.

Notwithstanding the general satisfaction with the theory test, many believed that theoretical
knowledge could be expanded. Many of the items suggested are already covered in the Safe
Boating Handbook.

While licensing procedures have not been demonstrated to be a factor in fatal boating
incidents, it is agreed that lack of boating knowledge and skills can present a hazard to safe
boating and should be addressed.

The issue of a separate licence for PWC of was raised in the survey. The operation of PWC is
the source of the majority of recreational boating complaints received by MAST and also
generated substantial comment in the Survey. PWC do not appear to be well received by the
general boating public and are considered to be noisy, a nuisance and operators to have little
regard for other users or the boating regulations. 66.3% of respondents believed a separate
licence was necessary.

The review investigated the requirements of other states and countries and found that
currently in Australia only NSW has a separate licence requirement for PWC. 8 American
states have mandatory courses for PWC. In addition to separate licensing requirements NSW
also makes it compulsory for PWC to have affix a “Behaviour” sticker next to the controls.
This sticker outlines pertinent boating regulations such as speed and passing distances and




                                              45
reminds operators of their obligations with respect to boating safety. These stickers are also
compulsory in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.


6.4.2 Hazard Reduction Strategy.
The Terms of Reference directed MAST to examine the requirements of other authorities both
in Australia and overseas. The requirements of licensing requirements of other Australian
states are at Appendix 7. It can be seen that firstly, licenses are only required in New South
Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. A practical test is only required in
Queensland although South Australia has a provision for practical testing of juniors, but they
are required to be accompanied by an adult when operating vessels.

In South Australia and Tasmania applicants for licences are required to undertake written
examinations for licences at government service offices, although in Tasmania’s case they
may also be conducted by accredited Training Providers. A written test is all that is required
in New South Wales, however applicants must undertake an approved course with an
accredited Training Provider. In Queensland applicants are required to undertake approved
courses and are required to undergo a practical test conducted by the Training Provider or in
remote areas Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers may conduct this test. Queensland no
longer issues physical licences, but the Department of Transport holds “virtual” licence
records.

In the overseas countries investigated, both New Zealand and the UK do not have any
licensing requirements. Canada does not have a licensing system per se but requires that all
recreational boat operators have completed a Boating Safety Education Course. Training
Providers conduct this course. In the USA as Australia, licensing is a state issue. There are
no mandatory requirements for licences in 16 states and a licence is compulsory in only 3
states. 25 states require mandatory Education Courses conducted by Training Providers.
These are generally for younger people in an overall age range from 10 to 18 years of age. 8
states have mandatory courses for PWC only. The licensing requirements of the
aforementioned countries are at Appendix 8.

In relation to the other Australian states and noting that Victoria, Western Australia and the
Northern Territory do not require recreational licences, and of overseas countries, it is
considered that Tasmania’s licensing requirements are well placed. It should be noted that the
National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) is in the process of conducting a review of all
Australian recreational licence standards.

It is considered that improvements could be made to Tasmania’s licensing system in three
ways;
        a. Review the current test and incorporate more questions to require candidates to
        better demonstrate an awareness of boating hazards;
        b. Require that licences can only be obtained by applicants having to undertake an
        approved course conducted by accredited Training Providers; and
        c. Require that licences can only be obtained by applicants having to undertake an
        approved course and practical test as conducted by accredited Training Providers.

When deciding what is the best course of action to take, MAST is mindful of the effects and
greater requirements will have on the public including costs, and whether the requirement is
reasonable in the circumstances. For example, the costs of undertaking a course including a


                                              46
practical test would be in the region of $100 - $120. MAST’s experience to date would
indicate that this cost would be unpalatable to many Tasmanians. The legislating of this
requirement may well discourage people who would otherwise obtain a licence and result in
them not obtaining a licence at all. A current Training Provider supports this view.

Requiring people to undertake an approved course may also discourage some people from
obtaining a licence for the same reasons, although many people currently use this method.

In determining the best course of action, MAST is aware of the requirements of other states
and countries, the lack of evidence that licensing requirements have contributed to fatal
incidents and the possible detrimental effects that any additional licensing costs will have on
the boating public. It does however recognise that approved courses including practical
training and testing will improve boating knowledge and skills. Therefore at this time it is
recommended that:
        • The current written test is reviewed and incorporation of further questions be
           considered to cover any area that is considered lacking or should be improved.
        • Training Providers be encouraged to offer approved courses that may also include
           a practical component.
        • MAST promotes voluntary attendance at approved courses.

With respect to separate licences for PWC, it is proposed not to introduce separate licences at
this time. The following action is recommended:
        • The introduction of compulsory PWC “Behaviour” stickers to be affixed to all
           PWC.
        • The safe operation of PWC is to be the subject of an ongoing awareness campaign,
           which will enlist the support of the relevant association.
        • Separate licensing for PWC operators to be kept under review with respect to the
           response to the awareness campaign.


6.5     Enforcement
6.5.1 Hazards.
The hazards that are identified under the heading of Enforcement are those which are
associated with the breach of boating regulations. In Tasmania, this means the Marine and
Safety (Motor Boats and Licences) By-Laws 1998.

Hazards may occur to the occupants of boats by failure by the owner/operator to provide the
necessary safety equipment or by operators endangering others by behaviour that is contrary
to the By-Laws. This may include exceeding the speed limit as prescribed, or generally
operating in a careless or reckless manner. These hazards may be exacerbated by vessels
being unregistered, operators being unlicensed or operators being affected by alcohol.

The responses to the Survey and Issues Paper show that whilst it is considered that most
people are aware of boating regulations, these are generally not being observed. Additionally
some 60% of Tasmanian boaters have observed other operators to be operating vessels whilst
believed to be under the influence of alcohol. Coronial records show alcohol to be a factor in
8 out of the 34 recorded fatal incidents 1987 – 1999, but do not indicate whether this was the
cause of the incident. It can be reasonably assumed however, that safe operation of vessels
can be impaired if the operator is under the influence of alcohol.



                                              47
The carriage of safety equipment in boats as indicated by the Survey at generally over 90% is
encouraging, but the general 5% non compliance equates to some 825 registered boat owners,
a considerable amount. If say on average that there are three persons in an “average” boat
then the lives of some 2,475 people (and maybe more) may well be at risk in some form or
another if safety equipment is not carried.

The Survey showed that 65.7% percent of registered boat owners have never encountered any
law enforcement, with only 17.75 having encountered law enforcement in the last two years.

6.5.2 Hazard Reduction Strategy.
There is strong public support for the enforcement of boating regulations. Enforcement
would assist in promoting safety on the water in three ways, firstly ensuring that boats are
registered and that operators are licensed, secondly by ensuring that the correct safety
equipment is carried and lastly by ensuring that things such as speed limits and proper passing
distances are observed.

Although MAST personnel do conduct boating patrols from time to time using the MAST
vessel “Artemis”, such patrols are by staff volunteers and are generally conducted on an ad
hoc basis, although they might be conducted in conjunction with other activities such as
mooring surveys etc. The Tasmanian Police who conduct regular boating patrols in relation
to commercial fishing activities would better placed to undertake enforcement. The police are
also better placed to conduct sobriety and random breath testing. In other areas such as inland
lakes or in national parks, enforcement may also be undertaken by staff of the Inland Fisheries
Service and the Parks and Wildlife Service. Enforcement is generally facilitated using
Infringement Notices, which were introduced by MAST in November 1999.

With regards to enforcement of the Marine and safety (Motor Boats and Licences) By-Laws
1998, the following is recommended:
       • The Department of Police and Public Safety (DPPS) continue to hold primary
           responsibility for enforcing boating regulations.
       • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MAST and DPPS is instituted,
           detailing procedures to be adopted and levels of enforcement.
       • The DPPS investigate amending the Road Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act to
           include boats in the definition of a vehicle. This would bring all boats under the
           0.05 and RBT safety regime.
       • The breath alcohol limit of 0.05 be applied to operators of all vessels whilst
           underway.
       • Consideration is given for the Inland Fisheries and Parks and Wildlife Services to
           assist the Police in conducting enforcement duties. Such enforcement should be in
           accordance with Memoranda of Understanding.
       • MAST continues conducting boating patrols as currently undertaken.


6.6   Safety Equipment
6.6.1 Hazards.
The Terms of Reference of the review tasked MAST with a review of the current safety
equipment required in Tasmanian registered vessels.




                                              48
The carriage of certain items of safety equipment is essential to ensure the safety of the
occupants of a boat. Boats should carry that equipment necessary to ensure the stability of the
boat, the personal safety of occupants and a means of distress alerting.

The current minimum requirements for Tasmanian boats are as follows;
       • Anchor rope and chain
       • Bailer/bilge pump
       • PFD for each person
       • Fire Extinguisher
       • Oars/auxiliary propulsion
       • Flares

The above list is supplemented by additional equipment required for particular areas of
operation and size of boat. Additional equipment required by law comprises;
       • Heaving Line
       • Lifebuoy
       • EPIRB
       • Radar reflector First Aid kit
       • Water
       • Marine Radio

It should be stressed that the above requirements are a minimum only, operators may exceed
the carriage of equipment as considered necessary.

The carriage of the above equipment is reflected at Schedule 1 of the Motor Boats and
Licences By-Laws. The carriage of safety equipment was reviewed on the formation of
MAST in 1997. Prior to 1997 the various Marine Boards determined schedules of safety
equipment. These varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and as an example, the Port of
Devonport Authority schedule of safety equipment comprised some 34 items. The end result
was that boaters seldom met the carriage requirements.

The current safety equipment requirements are comparable with other states as can be seen at
Appendix 9, and with the USA and Canada as at Appendix 8. The Tasmanian boating public
have responded to the rationalisation of safety equipment as is reflected in the results of the
survey where there is over 90% compliance of the carriage of the basic items of safety
equipment.

The Survey did highlight some anomalies however with the carriage of safety equipment in
boats not required to be registered. These include tenders, boats without motors and boats
with motors under 4HP. It is considered that these boats are not necessarily at less risk
because they are not required to be registered and that carriage of safety equipment should be
required. This was supported by 65.7% of survey respondents. This matter requires
addressing.

Additionally, the response to the Issues Paper by the Jet Boat Sporting Association of
Tasmania highlighted the impracticality of the carriage of some safety equipment on PWC
and recommended a practical scale.




                                              49
6.6.2 Reduction of Hazards.
It is concluded from the Review that although the carriage of safety equipment by registered
vessels is satisfactory, that carriage of some form of safety equipment on non registered craft
is necessary. Additionally the safety equipment required for PWC should be reviewed.

When determining the scale of safety equipment for non registered craft, it is recognised that
there are many types of vessels that are currently not required to be registered. Therefore to
generally reflect the operation of these craft with the requirements of registered craft, non
registered craft may be divided into two groupings; those fitted with a motor and those not
fitted with a motor.

For those fitted with a motor, including tenders, there would appear to be no reason why these
craft should not comply with the requirements of registered craft. In all probability they
would operate in the same type of area as a registered boat of a comparable size.

For boats not fitted with a motor, the minimum safety equipment is considered to be the
carriage of a PFD for each person as well as a bailer as appropriate to the type of craft. It is
stressed that this is the minimum requirement, which may be exceeded at the operator’s
discretion.

The survey revealed that although there was generally good compliance with the carriage of
safety equipment, only 63.2% of operators showed their passengers the location and use of
safety equipment in their boat. This is considered a poor response, which requires action.

The following recommendations in relation to the carriage of safety equipment in Tasmanian
recreational vessels are made:
        a. For registered vessels other than PWC:
               • No change to existing requirements

       b. For PWC, the following minimum equipment to be carried:
              • PFD 1 and helmet outside sheltered waters
              • PFD 2 in sheltered areas
              • A means of anchoring (anchor or bag) to be carried
              • Flares as required for other registered craft
              • A “Behaviour” sticker as outlined at 6.4.2 above

       c. For non registered vessels fitted with a motor:
              • As for registered vessels

       d. For non registered vessels not fitted with a motor:
              • A PFD 1 or 2 appropriate to the area of operation
              • A bailer as appropriate to the type of vessel

With regards to operators showing their passengers the location and use of safety equipment,
an ongoing awareness campaign is proposed to ensure maximum compliance.




                                               50
6.7    Special Use Areas and Signage
6.7.1 Hazards.
Special Use Areas and Signage have been grouped together as the identification of related
hazards and strategies for reduction of those hazards are almost identical.

Hazards to boaters and other recreational water users would typically arise from the lack of
appropriate signage with regard to notification of conditions that may be potentially
dangerous either due to physical and environmental conditions or where some form of mutual
separation may be required for certain activities. Additionally, signage can be used to
reinforce regulations as well as generic safety signs acting as a reminder or aide-memoire for
those undertaking recreational boating activities.

The Survey showed that 81% of registered boat owners favour separate use zones for water
activities. Such zones may include those for swimming, power boat use, water skiing and use
of PWC or a combination of some of the above. The Survey was less decisive about adequate
safety signage with 46.9% of owners indicating that there is insufficient safety signage in the
state.

Many of the written comments in relation to signage referred to the inland lakes, where
desired signage would include speed limits, known hazards and warnings. These comments
may also apply to other areas.

Signage in relation to recreational boating has been traditionally supplied by facility or area
owners and/or managers. These owners or managers have been in the main either state
departments or local councils, although some facilities are maintained by associations of
citizens. With respect to special use areas, these have been determined in the main by local
councils under recreational plans, although some state departments such as Parks and Wildlife
have made determinations.

The amalgamation of local councils, the port corporatisation process and the formation of
MAST and the transfer of various assets has resulted in some confusion as to responsibilities
in the provision of special use areas and signage. There are various designated special use
areas such as those for water skiing and various signs provided around the state, many by
organisations that now cease to exist. These have not been reviewed for a number of years.

Whilst MAST has been delegated authority over all state waters, it is not responsible for the
designation of recreational use areas or any non-vested asset. Whilst confusion remains,
recreational boating safety may to some degree be compromised by the non designation of
areas and lack of appropriate safety signage.

6.7.2 Hazard Reduction Strategies.
MAST has recently renewed all of the signage at its facilities around the state including the
provision of a generic boating safety sign at each facility, be it jetty or boat ramp. MAST has
also allocated $30,000 for the provision of signage on a $ for $ basis with local councils and
other government departments. After poor initial take up of the signage offer, there has been
an increase in responses by councils. There still remains however some confusion over
jurisdiction. This confusion needs to be overcome. MAST can incorporate special use areas
and restrictions into it’s legislation, but these must be advised by the owner or manager, be it
a local council or another state government department.




                                               51
With regards to inland lakes, the signage situation is compounded by the requirements of
various authorities such as Hydro Electric Corporation, Inland Fisheries Service and Parks
and Wildlife. The end result has been a hotch potch of individual signs provided by each
Authority. A consolidated approach is required.

Therefore the following action in respect to special use areas and provision of safety signage
is recommended.
       • MAST holds discussions with councils adjoining waterways to better understand
           community expectations and needs with regards to special use areas. This will
           include adequate signage.
       • MAST reviews on an ongoing basis outdated signage around the state and work
           with the owner/manager to ensure upgrading.
       • MAST works with other government authorities and local councils as appropriate
           for the provision of consolidated safety signage at inland lakes in particular and
           other sites as appropriate.




                                              52
7.0    CONSEQUENCE MINIMISATION
7.1     Overview
7.1.1 As stated at Section 5, the overriding goal of risk reduction strategies should be
directed at preventing boaters from ending up in the water. Section 6 identified hazards and
addressed strategies to prevent this from occurring. Those strategies ranged from changes to
legislation, public awareness campaigns and provision of safety signage. In short they could
be summarised as “Stay in Your Boat” strategies. This Section will address those issues
involved in minimising the consequences of potential fatal boating incidents should hazard
reduction strategies fail and boaters find themselves in distress and eventually ending up in
the water.

7.2     Consequence
7.2.1 The ultimate consequence of involvement in a boating incident is death. This may be
from drowning, hypothermia, injury or a combination. The review of Coronial records shows
that in all of the 46 deaths between 1987 and 1999 all ended up in the water. 10 victims were
wearing PFDs but still perished. Most victims were experienced, with over 50% of victims
over the age of 40. People perished in all waters around the state in all seasons. The greatest
period of risk is traditionally Spring and Summer seasons, but even in these the water
temperatures in Tasmania poses a significant hypothermia threat. People in runabouts and
dinghies are most at risk. Many waters of the state are relatively remote including ones that
may be close to population centres.

7.3     Consequence Minimisation Strategies
7.3.1 General
Strategies to minimise the consequences and likelihood of death in boating incidents can be
broadly divided into two categories. Those that facilitate distress alerting and initiating of a
Search and Rescue (SAR) response and those that assist in prolonging and hopefully saving
the lives of people who end up in the water. These will be discussed below.

7.3.2 Coastal Radio Network.
Tasmania is served by a number of volunteer coastal radio stations about its coastline. This
network is manned by organisations such as the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, Yacht Clubs
(Mersey and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania) and Tasmar Radio. They generally operate
between the hours of 7am to 7pm, seven days per week and facilitate scheduled times for
weather forecast and traffic as well as providing facilities for vessels to check in when going
on the water and on completion of activities. The stations serve localised areas on HF and
VHF, with some also providing UHF and 27 Mhz coverage.

These stations receive regular and updated coastal weather forecasts from the Bureau of
Meteorology and transmit them at scheduled times or on occurrence in the case of Warnings.

The coverage of this network has been considerably enhanced by the installation of a VHF
repeater network around the state, comprising six repeaters provided by MAST and two by
the RYCT. These are all stand-alone repeaters and function 24 hours per day.

Four of the MAST repeaters and both RYCT repeaters can be monitored from ashore and are
incorporated into the coastal radio network. Action is in train to allow the two remaining
MAST repeaters to be monitored from ashore via UHF links. This should be accomplished
by the end of May 2000. Action is also in hand to provide an out of hours alerting system


                                               53
utilising radios that are or have a handset that is Seaphone compatible. This system is called
“Seaguard” and should be installed by the end of June 2000.

These repeaters have been provided for public use. They enhance the coverage of services
provided by the volunteer network and provide a facility for distress alerting. The repeaters
operate on approved VHF marine frequencies. The repeater network can also be used to
facilitate SAR operations.

Whilst MAST allows boats that are required to have marine radios fitted to have either VHF
or 27Mhz at the choice of the owner, the VHF repeater network will give greater coverage
and reliability of communications than 27Mhz radios, which have been traditionally more
favoured by a lot of boaters. 27Mhz radios suffer from skip due to atmospheric conditions.
Because of this and interference to other frequencies, some coastal radio stations intend
discontinuing the monitoring of 27Mhz.

With regard to provision of the VHF repeater network for routine monitoring, promulgation
of weather forecast, distress alerting and SAR coordination, MAST recommends:
       • Facilitating the remote monitoring by volunteer coastal stations of the two
           remaining stations by the end of May 2000
       • Facilitating the implementation of the Seaguard out of hours distress alerting
           system by the end of June 2000
       • Promoting the existence and use of the VHF repeater network and the role of
           volunteer stations.
       • Promoting the use of VHF radios in preference to 27Mhz radios.

7.3.3 Inland Lakes UHF Radio Facilities.
Whilst the VHF repeater network is satisfactory for coastal use, it is not accessible by users of
inland lakes. MAST originally intended to examine the provision of VHF repeaters in the
inland lakes, but advice was received that users of Arthur’s Lake and the Great Lake in
particular use the UHF repeater at Barren Tier. This repeater is owned by the Central
Highland Shack Owners Association and MAST funds the ongoing licensing and insurance
coats on a year by year basis from the Recreational Boating Facilities Fund.

The Barren Tier repeater is not monitored by a dedicated radio station, but is monitored by
other users. It is available for use by the public and can be used for distress alerting and SAR
coordination. With respect to inland lakes radio monitoring, MAST recommends:
       • The continued funding of the licensing and insurance of the Barren Tier UHF
            repeater on an annual basis.
        • Promotion of the existence and availability of the Barren Tier UHF repeater for
             use recreational boater in inland lakes.
       • As a longer-term issue, investigation of coverage and availability of UHF
            monitoring in other ares of the state.

7.3.4 Use of EPIRBs.
Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are required to be carried on boats
over 6 metres outside sheltered waters. They are also recommended for boats under 6 metres
outside sheltered waters, although these boats are not recommended to operate in such waters.

There are two types of EPIRBs, the 121.5/243Mhz and the 406Mhz. The former is cheaper
and much more widely used and the latter more expensive and generally used by larger


                                               54
vessels as required by the SOLAS convention. Once activated both EPIRBs transmissions are
received by satellite and this information is relayed to the Australian Search and Rescue
Authority (AusSAR), situated in Canberra.

The 121.5/243 EPIRB requires two satellite passes before a datum to an accuracy of 10
nautical miles can be established. In Tasmania this can take from one to three hours. Once
the datum is established search and rescue operations can be initiated. In Tasmania the
responsible SAR authority is the Department of Police and Public Safety.

The 406Mhz EPIRB transmits a coded identification (ID) signal unique to the particular
EPIRB. Therefore 406Mhz EPIRBs need to be registered with AusSAR along with owner
details. The accuracy of the datum of the 406Mhz EPIRB is 3 nautical miles. The 406Mhz
EPIRB is therefore more accurate and because of the satellite monitoring system, alerting of
406Mhz transmissions can be significantly less than the 121.5/243 unit.

The monitoring of 121.5/143 MHz EPIRBs will cease internationally in 2008 with only the
406Mhz being monitored thereafter. This should result in a (hopefully significant) cost
reduction for this type of EPIRB.

In summary, the EPIRB is an invaluable distress alerting tool, which is required to be carried
by boats operating outside sheltered waters in Tasmania. Experience in recent incidents
indicates that the capabilities and limitations of EPIRBs are not widely understood. The
general and erroneous impression is that once activated, help should arrive almost
instantaneously. It is recommended therefore that MAST:
        • Makes boating public aware of the benefits of carrying EPIRBs.
        • Makes the boating public aware of the capabilities and limitations of EPIRBs.

7.3.5 Trip Notification.
A simple and efficient way of alerting of a possible distress situation is the telling of someone
where an operator intends going and what time he/she is expected to return. The details of the
boat and the number of passengers along with safety equipment, including carriage of a radio,
EPIRB and even mobile telephone will also prove very useful. If the person has not returned
or checked in by the due time, then the Tasmanian Police can be alerted and SAR operations
commenced. The majority of Tasmanian boaters (92.4%) indicated in the Survey that they
use this method, but there are still some who do not. This requirement is also included in the
Tasmanian Safe Boating Handbook and on MAST safety signage. The simplicity and
effectiveness of this method should not be overlooked.

It is recommended that MAST:
         • Continue to encourage trip notification in awareness campaigns.
         • Examine the production of a trip notification checklist that can be left with a
           responsible person.

7.3.6 Search and Rescue.
Give the size and extended location of Tasmanian waterways it is not practical to have Search
and Rescue units deployed on the water awaiting a distress call. It is not cost effective nor are
there the resources to permit this. The Tasmanian Police have recently undertaken a review
of the deployment of their SAR and patrol assets and have commenced redeployment to
ensure the maximising of availability of suitable craft. In addition the Police may call upon
other assets; sea, land and air, to assist in SAR operations and maintain appropriate registers


                                               55
of services, including those able to be provided by volunteers and other government
departments as well as from commercial sources.

Tasmanian Search and Rescue response capability is also about to be enhanced by the
provision of a twin engine helicopter capable of flying in all weather conditions.

No recommendations are made in relation to provision of Search and Rescue services, it being
the province of another government department. As previously mentioned, however the VHF
repeater network is available for use in SAR coordination.

7.3.7 Alcohol.
The subject of alcohol in relation to limits and random breath testing has been covered in
Section 5. Inclusion in this section is for the purposes of an understanding of the effects of
alcohol in the body in relation to hypothermia and survival in the water. The chances of
survival are significantly lessened the more the amount of alcohol in one’s body. A television
commercial was made available and run on Tasmanian television over the summer of
1999/2000. This subject is worthy of ongoing awareness strategies and so it is recommended
that MAST:
       • Conduct an ongoing awareness campaign advising of the dangers of alcohol in
            relation to survivability.

7.3.8 Compulsory Wearing of PFDs.
The consideration of this issue was required by the Terms of Reference and public comment
was invited at both the Survey and the Issues Paper. It is perhaps the most emotive issue of
the entire review.

The wearing of lifejackets in the context of consequence minimisation is in effect the last
resort. The person has ended up for whatever reason in the water and it is now a matter of
survival.

There is no doubt that PFDs enhance the chance of survival once in the water, but should all
members the boating public be compelled to wear PFDs on the off chance they may end up in
the water? It is important to note here that the wearing of a PFD will not necessarily result in
survival as the warning on a PFD 1 advises. This states “ The use of this PFD does not
guarantee the safety and ultimate rescue of the wearer, but the PFD will afford support in the
water for an extended period. The effectiveness of a PFD is considerably reduced in rough or
breaking seas or surf.”

The Survey showed that the wearing of PFDs by adults in the normal course is 48.5% overall
and when applied to dinghies and runabouts is 59.5% and 49.8% respectively. In response to
the question as to whether wearing should be compulsory, the result was 59.2% No to 39.4%
Yes. This indicates that some 10% of boaters who normally wear PFDs don’t believe that
wearing should be made compulsory.

It is a different matter when applied to children. The Survey reveals that 88.2% of children
wear PFDs in the normal course and that 90.6% of boat owners are in favour of compulsory
wearing of PFDs by children. The age cut off for children is less clear with 40.5% favouring
no age cut off, with 48.4% favouring 16 years and below.




                                               56
The reasons against the compulsory wearing of PFDs includes the following:
       • Too bulky, uncomfortable, hot, restrictive
       • Inappropriate for the type of activity eg, fly fishing, driving a ski boat, at anchor
       • Inappropriate for the type of vessel eg yachts and cabin cruisers
       • Wearing is dangerous as PFD may snag on fishing gear such as nets and pots

The reasons for compulsory wearing include:
       • They save lives
       • They should be compulsory for children
       • They are insurance against unforeseen events
       • Wearing enhances the safety culture
       • They should be worn on certain types of vessels such as runabouts and dinghies
       • They should be worn in certain circumstances eg open boats and on exposed decks

In determining whether compulsory wearing should be recommended, the requirements for
compulsory wearing by other Australian states was examined. This examination showed that
the wearing of PFDs by adults is not compulsory in any other state or by children, with the
exception of Victoria. Victoria requires the compulsory wearing by children under the age of
10 in a recreational boat whilst underway unless within a deckhouse, cabin, half-cabin or
secure enclosed space.

Examination of overseas countries requirements shows that compulsory wearing of PFD is
not required by adults in New Zealand, UK, Canada and full wearing in only one state of the
USA. Only the USA has compulsory wearing by children, mostly in vessels underway and in
some cases on exposed decks only. The age cut off is generally under 12 years of age (29
states). Additionally, in the USA 40 states require PWC operators to wear PFDs and 29 states
require the wearing by people being towed, such as water skiers.

In consideration of whether Tasmania should legislate for the compulsory wearing of PFDs
by adults, the views of the boating public were taken into account. Similarly the capability to
enforce the requirement was also considered. Additionally the recommendations of this
Review will rely on the support of the Tasmanian public and the legislation of compulsory
wearing of PFDs risks the alienation of 50% of registered boat owners. Finally, this Review
proposes a number of strategies to help reduce hazards to boaters and hopefully reduce the
reliance on last resort methods. For these reasons, whilst the wearing of PFDs by adults is
strongly recommended, the compulsory wearing is not supported. This is also consistent with
other states and overseas countries.

With regards to children, the situation is somewhat different. Children are less capable of
making decisions such as wearing of PFDs and generally adults make these decisions for
them. For this reason children are considered to be more at risk than adults as well as being
generally less in boating safety matters. Most children already wear PFDs and compulsory
wearing has overwhelming public support. It is also considered that compulsory wearing by
children will over time result in greater wearing in the normal course as children pass into
adulthood. Hopefully, they will be more conditioned, accepting and understanding of the
benefits of wearing a PFD. For these reasons compulsory wearing of PFDs by children is
supported.

The requirements for the wearing of PFDs in activities considered to be of higher risk was
also examined. This includes such activities as operation of PWC, persons being towed on


                                               57
the water and operations of kayaks and canoes. The compulsory wearing by all participants in
these activities is considered warranted in view of the risks involved. This also mirrors the
requirements of other authorities.

With respect to the compulsory wearing of PFDs, the following is recommended:

       a. For all vessels (registered and non registered) other than PWC, canoes and kayaks:
              • Wearing not to be made compulsory for adults
              • Wearing to be compulsory for children Under 12 years of age in
                   accordance with the following provisions:
                   - Children U12 must wear a PFD 1, 2 or 3 whilst in a recreational boat that
                   is underway, unless the child is within a deckhouse, cabin or half cabin or
                   secure enclosed space. If a child is wearing a PFD 3, then a PFD 1 or 2 as
                   appropriate to the area must still be carried for the child onboard.

       b. For PWC:
              • A PFD 2 must be worn by all persons on a PWC in sheltered waters.
                Outside sheltered waters, a PFD 1 and safety helmet must be worn.

       c. For canoes and kayaks:
              • A PFD 2 must be worn by all persons for all activities within sheltered
                  waters. A PFD 1 must be worn outside sheltered waters

       d. For persons being towed:
              • A PFD 2 or 3 must be worn by all persons being towed or onboard craft
                  that are being towed either by a vessel or a device from the shore.

7.3.9 Survival Techniques.
Should an incident result in people ending up in the water they are exposed to the possibilities
of hypothermia and drowning. Depending on water temperature and weather conditions these
have the ability to occur in a very short time frame. People wearing PFDs are still at risk.

There are techniques which people can adopt to increase their chances of survival. These
include treading water and adoption of the Heat Escape Lessening Posture (HELP) or group
huddle to preserve body heat. Clothing and the knowledge of wearing and discarding can also
help as well as being aware of techniques to conserve energy, thus delaying heat loss. The
adoption of these strategies can increase the chances of survival as much as 50% and may
keep the victim alive long enough for rescue to take place.

It is recommended therefore that;
         • The techniques for increasing survival time for people in the water are included in
           boating safety awareness campaigns.




                                               58
8.0    IMPLEMENTATION
8.1     Overview
8.1.1 A number of recommendations have been made in Sections 6 and 7 of this report with
regard to the adoption of hazard reduction and consequence minimisation strategies. Hazard
reduction strategies are designed to prevent the boater from ending up in the water (“Stay in
Your Boat”) and consequence minimisation strategies refer to distress alerting and surviving
in the water. This section deals with the implementation of those recommendations and
identifies the methods required to be adopted as well as the costs and projected time frames.

Implementation of the recommendations will require adoption of a number of varying
methods. These will include; the changing of legislation, in particular the Marine and Safety
(Motor Boats and Licences) By-Laws, the production of promotional and other printed
material, conducting awareness and education campaigns and for requirements for
representation by designated personnel be it for promotional or enforcement purposes. A
combination of many of the foregoing methods may be required for various
recommendations. The recent success of the Road Safety Task Force highlights the benefits
of combining a range of approaches to improve safety. A brief description of the various
methods is outlined below.

8.2    Methods
8.2.1 Legislation.
The procedure for amending of legislation is specified in the Subordinate Legislation Act
1992. Where changes will result in cost to the community, a Regulatory Impact Statement
(RIS) outlining the proposed changes and cost implications needs to be prepared. The RIS,
which is put out for public comment and the draft changes to legislation are then submitted to
the government for review and consideration. The RIS is available for public comment for a
period of three weeks during which time draft legislation is subject to review. Following the
period of public comment and any necessary changes, the draft legislation is considered by
both houses of government. Once approved, the legislation needs to be printed and then
changes need to be made known to the public through a public awareness process. Any other
documentation on relating to the changes including promotional material will also be required
to be amended and reprinted.

8.2.2 Public Awareness Campaigns.
Public awareness campaigns can take many forms including advertising in various media,
media releases, promotional material in printed, visual and electronic form, attendance at
various functions and mail out of material. Different recommendations of this report will
need to be promoted in different ways to achieve the desired result. This is because not all
recommendations affect all boaters and therefore particular groups will need to be targeted

In considering the most appropriate form media awareness campaign, MAST will take into
account the responses to the Survey which advised of the favoured type and advertising
medium, the advice of its public relations consultants and the projected costs. MAST will
also utilise as far as possible promotional material available from other sources including that
available from other states through the Australia New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group
(ANZSBEG), of which MAST is a member. Articles may be written for inclusion in relevant
publications.




                                               59
In addition to awareness campaigns for specific items, general safety campaigns will need to
be ongoing if they are to be effective. This is analogous to the ongoing road safety
campaigns.

8.2.3 Education Programs.
Education programs in the context of this Review are structured programs to assist in
improved formal education. Action taken in this regard may include such things as assisting
schools to develop safe boating curricula or improving the level of formal training for boat
operators. Action with regards to the latter may include; approval of courses, accrediting of
Training Providers and introduction of a training audit program.

8.2.4 Representation.
Representation can apply to awareness campaigns and education programs. Representation
may be made by MAST representatives by way of boating patrols, attendance at functions
such as boat shows and other similar functions. Representation may also be made by related
government agencies both on and off the water having a role in boating safety and
enforcement such as the Tasmania Police, Inland Fisheries Service and Parks and Wildlife
Service.


8.3     Resources and Funding
8.3.1 General.
Table 22 over, shows in tabular format 14 key recommendations of this Review. The table
shows the action required for each recommendation, the costs involved and the projected time
frame to accomplish each of the recommendations. This table is also reproduced as Table A
at the Executive Summary. In addressing the costs of implementation, it needs to be stressed
that like road safety or anti smoking campaigns, the improving of recreational boating safety
culture is a long term and ongoing task. It needs to extend over more than the next twelve
months. Notwithstanding this, it is important to establish a vigorous safety campaign in the
coming year. The program as outlined will address a number of key issues as outlined in the
Review before the next summer.

The Review has identified a number of other issues that have not been included in the
recommendations of this report. Some are the province of other government departments and
these have been advised of the concerns raised. Others, such as approval of non-SOLAS
coloured PFDs for use in inland lakes will be addressed administratively by MAST. Some
will be addressed in the longer term as part of the ongoing plan to improve boating safety.

The issues involved in resourcing and funding the implementation of the recommendations
are discussed under.


8.4     Resourcing and Funding
8.3.1 MAST has prepared a detailed budget and work program to implement the program
outlined in the report. It is estimated that the budget for the full program to promote a range
of safety initiatives is $210,000 in a full year.

There are no opportunities to deploy existing staff or resources to implement the programs
recommended by this report. MAST does not receive any funding from the government for
recreational boating. All programs are funded from recreational boating registrations. It is


                                              60
considered appropriate that registration and licence fees continue as the sole means of funding
for recreational boating initiatives.

This year (1999/2000) MAST has spent a total of $125,000 on boating safety awareness
programs and on salaries and other costs involved in administering recreational boating
licences and registration. In addition $200,000 has been allocated in the 2000 calendar year
for improvements to recreational boating facilities. In the coming year (2000/2001), $100,000
will be required to continue tasks with recreational licences, registrations, accreditation and
audit of training providers, water safety week and other tasks associated with recreational
boating. This means that $25,000 can be directed at implementing the recommendations of
the Review. This leaves a shortfall of some $185,000 to be found this year.

As stated above the estimated costs of delivering the proposed program is $210,000. The
human resource requirements of implementation of the program indicate that one full time
and one part time officer will be required to be employed at MAST. The cost of these people
is estimated at $102,000 which includes salary, superannuation, payroll tax and travel and
accommodation costs. The remaining $108,000 will be required to be allocated to fund
enforcement activities, educational programs and awareness and advertising initiatives.

Allowing that no government funding will be made available for recreational boating, the
funding of the recommendations of this Review needs to found in income generated by
licences and registration. It would be possible commencing in 2001 to cease the funding of
improvements to recreational boating facilities and channel the entire $200,000 into safety
initiatives. However it is felt that such a move would be counter productive in view of the
strong public support that the recreational boating facilities fund enjoys and the good results
achieved from this program. Many of these projects also enhance safety for boat owners.
Indeed the support for improvements to recreational facilities by way of nominations has
increased by nearly 300% since the program’s inception. MAST would therefore intend that
funding of improvements remain at current levels until a satisfactory standard of recreational
facilities is reached.

In consideration of whether to increase the costs of licences, MAST was cognisant that whilst
the current cost of licences was minimal, any increase in licence fees could not realistically be
achieved until the current licences come up for renewal in December 2002. The numbers of
projected licences in the meantime would not generate significant income.

If the level of funding of improvements to recreational boating facilities is to remain at current
levels, it is then recommended that a special boating safety levy of $10.00 be introduced
coincident with registration renewals in January 2001. This will contribute $155,000 to the
implementation of the recommendations of this Review.

Further, MAST also recommends that the $5.00 rebate provided on electronic payment for
boat and mooring registrations be discontinued from the year 2000 onward. This will
contribute another $30,000. This together with the $155,000 provided from the boating safety
levy and the $25,000 available in the current budget will meet the full costs of the review next
financial year. This will see direct benefits to recreational boat owners through better safety
programs, more education and awareness programs for operators and increased enforcement
activity.




                                                61
A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) outlining the recommended legislation changes and
funding measures required to implement the findings of this review is at Appendix 10.




                                         62
TABLE 22: SUMMARY OF REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS
    RECOMMENDATIONS                                     ACTION REQUIRED                       COMPLETION DATE             COST
1   Compulsory wearing of PFD’s for children under      Amend Motor Boat and Licences         October 2000               $25,000
    12 years old. (Rec 7.3.8)                           By-laws
2   Compulsory wearing of PFD’s on jet skis, by         Awareness campaign in media           November- February 01
    persons being towed and persons in canoes and       between November 2000 and
    kayaks (Rec 7.3.8)                                  February 2001

3   Require motor boats that currently do not have to   Amend Motor Boat and Licences         October 2000               $21,000
    be registered to carry safety equipment.            By-laws
    (Rec 6.6.2.)
4   Require PWC to carry relevant safety equipment      Awareness campaign through            November 2000
    and a safe boating “Behaviour” Sticker”             brochures.
    (Rec 6.4.2.)                                        Prepare and print “Behaviour          November 2000
                                                        Sticker” and distribute with
                                                        registration renewals

5   Reduce overloading of craft by introducing safe     Prepare and print brochure and        November 2000              $26,000
6   capacity labels. (Rec 6.3.2)                        capacity label on safe capacity.
    Make owners aware of need for positive              Mail out to owners.
    buoyancy. (Rec 6.3.2.)                              Amend Motor Boats and Licences        October 2000
                                                        By-law to require owners to display
                                                        label or sticker from 2002 onward.
                                                        Prepare and print brochure on
                                                        positive buoyancy.                    November 2000 ongoing       $7000
                                                        Provide practical demonstrations on
                                                        positive buoyancy at boat shows
                                                        and other suitable public venues.                             Costed below
                                                        Raise recreational vessel
                                                        construction standards at National
                                                        Marine Safety Committee               May 2000




                                                                          63
7   Encourage greater use of up to date weather          Investigate jointly with Bureau of    November 2000
    forecasts and improve distribution of weather        Meteorology (BoM) a telephone
    information. (Rec 6.2.2.)                            boating weather service that is
                                                         simpler and less costly to use
                                                         MAST and BoM to discuss with
                                                         media outlets the introduction of a   July 2000
                                                         boating weather alert
                                                         MAST promotes the need for
                                                         boaters to check the weather before   November 2000 –                   $21,000
                                                         going boating.                        February 2001
8   Increase safety awareness of recreational boat       Introduce awareness campaigns as      Awareness campaigns to run     Already costed
    owners and operators.                                outlined above on:                    between November and               above
    (Rec 8.1.3)                                          • Weather                             February.
                                                         • Compulsory wearing of PFD’s
                                                             by children and jetski drivers.
                                                         • Capacity labels or stickers on
                                                             all craft
                                                         • New safety equipment
                                                             requirements for unregistered     Develop a display to
                                                             motor boats and jetskis           demonstrate issues such as        $11,000
                                                         MAST ensure greater                   positive buoyancy
                                                         representation at boat shows,
                                                         agricultural shows and other                                            $18,000
                                                         appropriate public events
                                                         Liaise with media outlets to help
                                                         promote boating safety
9   Increase enforcement of safe boating regulations     Finalise Memorandum of                July 2000                         $3,000
    and by-laws through regular patrols by               Understanding with Department of
    Department of Police Public Safety, supplemented     Police and Public Safety.
    by patrols by Marine and Safety Tasmania, Inland     Agree MOU’s with IFS and PWS          September 2000                    $31,000
    Fisheries Service, and Parks and Wildlife Service.
    (Rec 6.5.2)                                          Introduce RBT by amending Road
                                                         Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act.       Department of Police and          $6,000
                                                                                               Public Safety responsibility


                                                                           64
10   Improve formal education and training programs      Assist with preparation of boating    December 2000 and ongoing         $50,000
     for boat operators by:                              educational materials particularly
     • Assisting schools to develop safe boating         resources already developed in
          curricula                                      other states and disseminate to
11   • Accrediting training providers and                schools.
          introducing an audit program                   Visit schools and recreational
     (Rec 8.1.4)                                         boating and fishing clubs to help
     Encouraging boat owners to undertake suitable       promote safe boating Participate in
     training courses.                                   Australia New Zealand Safe
     (Rec 6.4.2.)                                        Boating Education Group meetings.
                                                         Audit existing training providers.
                                                         Develop and distribute brochure
                                                         detailing training courses for
                                                         recreational boat owners offered
                                                         around the State.

12   Improve signage to promote safety.                  $30,000 has been provided to local    Program started. Anticipated   Already funded
     (Rec 6.7.2)                                         government, IFS, HEC and PWS to       completion December 2000       in other MAST
13                                                       introduce safety signage at boat                                        programs.
     Introduce special use areas in popular waterways.   ramps and facilities around State.
     (Rec 6.7.2)                                         MAST to hold discussions with
                                                         Councils, IFS and PWS on use of
                                                         waterways to minimise conflicts
                                                         between users.
14   Review limits of operational areas                  Review limits in Marine and Safety    Ongoing                        Already funded
                                                         (Limits of Operational Areas) By-                                        in other
                                                         law                                                                     programs




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