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Boating in Tasmania

Boating in Tasmania

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Boating in Tasmania

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  1. Boating in Tasmania • Long coastline > 3000 km • Few boats, approx 25,500 • Strong winds, in the roaring forties • Relatively cold water temperatures • Almost all recreational boating fatalities have involved boats out on their own

  2. Recreational boating fatalities • Tasmania traditionally had more fatalities than other Australian States • Between October 1999 and January 2000 12 fatalities in Southern Tasmania • Prompted a major review of boating safety • Strong push from the local media

  3. Rec boating safety review 2000 • Review involved extensive consultation with boaters: • Survey of all boaters with 52% response rate • Wrote to all boating and fishing clubs • Series of statewide public meetings • Review made 12 recommendations including: • Legislation for mandatory wearing of PFDs • Legislation for blood alcohol testing

  4. Impact of implementing findings • In Nov 2000 Government announced that: • PFDs would be mandatory for adults in all boats < 6metres when under power, and • For children < 12 years in all size boats • Implementation was January 1, 2001. • Chandlers reported heavy sales of PFDs particularly inflatables. • Strong sales of other safety equipment

  5. Impact on safety • Before 2001 averaged 3.0 fatalities per year over previous 15 years in motor boats • 1999 was a particularly bad year (12 dead) • Average 1986 to 1998 was 2.1 per year. • After 2001 averaged 1.0 fatality per year • Decrease in fatalities occurred at a time when numbers of registered boats were increasing significantly 1998 - 2006 (88%)

  6. In summary since 2001 • 60% more boats • 50% less fatalities

  7. Enforcement not an issue Very little public opposition and high level of compliance Generally safety culture enhanced Quality PFDs bought and proudly worn Consistency of enforcement a problem Boaters over 50 still do not have a lifejacket culture Remote areas a problem Non motorised boats an issue LESSONS LEARNT IN TASMANIA

  8. Tasmanian Experience • If you end up in the water you are always better off wearing a lifejacket. • Most of the concerns about PFDs have not proved to be significant issues in practice. • Some boaters will die wearing PFDs • Modern PFD designs are comfortable • Enforcement and encouragement go hand in hand

  9. National data on rec boating • Annually 50 die in rec boating accidents • Almost all fatalities were in the water • Survivors twice as likely to be wearing PFD • Observation studies show that proportion wearing PFDs where it is voluntary is low • 6 - 11% in Queensland • 5 - 18 % in New South Wales • But 54% in Victoria (immediately after introduction)

  10. National data on fatalities 2005,06

  11. Mandatory wearing in VIC and QLD • Victoria introduced mandatory wearing PFDs by adults in boats <4.6 metres in 2006 • Policy initiative driven by Government and not in response to incident history • 3000 public responses • Queensland require children < 12 in boats < 4.6 metres to wear PFDs

  12. Heightened risk • Victoria introduced concept of heightened risk as the policy requirement for PFDs • Crossing barways • Travelling alone • Travelling at night • Incident patterns do not follow risk • If you are in the water you are better off with a PFD

  13. National data on fatalities 2005,06

  14. Ireland, Australia are only countries with mandatory wearing of PFDs for adults • Hot topic in USA, Canada, rest of Australia • Arguments against are: • Education is better than legislation • Compulsion will detract from education • Hard to enforce • Hot, bulky, restrictive