The NSW Police Marine Area Command have issued 16 boating infringements and 13 formal warnings during a proactive police operation across waterways south of Sydney at the weekend.
Operation Riptide is a highly-visible and mobile policing strategy targeting vessels and personal watercraft (PWC) compliance and safety across waterways state-wide throughout summer.
The first phase of the operation was conducted between 7am on Saturday (30 November 2019) and 6pm yesterday (Sunday 1 December 2019) at Botany Bay and along parts of the Georges River.
Marine Area Command officers, with assistance from the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor and NSW Roads and Maritime Services, stopped 162 vessels and 128 PWC during the operation to conduct compliance checks as well as random breath and drug tests.
Throughout the operation 16 boating infringements notices and 13 formal warnings were issued.
The Marine Area Command’s Detective Acting Inspector Christine McDonald said the operation is the first of many to be conducted across NSW this summer.
“NSW Police are urging the public to make safety the priority when in, on or around water this summer,” Det A/Insp McDonald said.
“The key to being safe on the water is assessing the environment you are in and taking simple precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
“While we were pleased to see the majority of operators and riders behaving safely this weekend, we are aware of many who continue to put the safety of others at risk.
“The majority of infringement notices issued this weekend were to jetski riders, who were riding irregularly on the water. This dangerous behaviour includes riding above the speed limit or riding too close to swimmers in the water.
“We’d like to remind all jetski riders that this type of offence carries a $250 fine, and police will be actively monitoring this kind of behaviour during the festive season and into the new year.
“Sadly, our officers also responded to a fatality on the water after a boat capsized off Sydney’s Northern Beaches yesterday.
“The last thing anyone wants to see is that kind of terrible loss of life around our waterways again this year, particularly at Christmas – so please, act responsibly and look out for your mates,” Det A/Insp McDonald said.
The Marine Area Command will be conducting Operation Riptide across the state over the coming months at locations including Lake Macquarie, South Coast, Port Stephens, Forster, Tweed Heads and along the Hawkesbury.
More information about water safety in NSW is available at www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au.
Anyone with information about incidents on NSW waterways is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.