Water Police patrolling far and wide

Northern Territory Police are reminding all boaters to ensure they have the correct safety gear and adequate fuel for their trips.

In the weeks since Easter, Water Police have been out to some of the more remote waterways in the Territory as well as Darwin Harbour.

Sergeant Troy Harris said, “During an operation over the Easter long weekend, Water Police inspected 79 vessels on Bynoe Harbour, Dundee Beach, Little Finniss River, Finniss River, Darwin Harbour, Charles Point Reef Protection Zone, Vernon Island and Cape Hotham.

“Most of the vessels passed muster and skippers were fully across the safety requirements, however we did issue eight marine infringements and 19 official cautions. We also issued a commercial fishing tour operator an Australian Marine Safety Authority (AMSA) Improvement Notice in relation to safety equipment.”

The Water Police Section and an AMSA inspector undertook Marine and Fisheries enforcement patrols in the Roper River and Limmen Bight areas between 2-6 May.

“With the assistance of Limmen Sea Rangers, we seized 18 abandoned commercial mud crab pots and issued two Fisheries Infringement Notices for abandoned gear,” said Sgt Harris.

“We also issued two commercial mud crabbers with improvement notices, which were rectified within 24 hours. A further two recreational vessels in the area were non-compliant and we issued those skippers with infringement notices.”

On 15 May, Water Police responded to an EPIRB activation near the Vernon Islands. A dinghy with five men on board had run out of fuel and required towing to Wurrumiyanga.

“The boat was fitted with an EPIRB however it was not registered to the current owner of the vessel. The skipper was issued a marine safety infringement notice.

“While it’s great that the boat had an EPIRB on board, it is important when you buy a vessel you update all details. Always make sure you have plenty of fuel for your trip, and expect the unexpected.”

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