Boaters urged to 'tow the line' this weekend

20 November 2020

NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers will be out in force across targeted Sydney and Central Coast waterways this weekend for a compliance operation focusing on safe towing and jetski behaviour.

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said operation ‘Tow the Line’ will be carried out on Port Hacking, Georges River, the Upper Hawkesbury from Wisemans Ferry to the Nepean River, Pittwater and Brisbane Water.

“This year, we have witnessed an increase in boating traffic within these particular areas which has resulted in community concerns about speed, on-water behaviour and noise,” Mr Hutchings said.

“Water-skiing, wakeboarding and jetskiing are all fun activities but they often have impacts on other boaters or people on the shoreline if enough care is not taken.

“The majority of people who head out on our waterways do the right thing and follow the boating rules which exist to keep us all safe, including lifejacket and licensing rules.

“For example, anyone being towed or riding a jetski must wear a lifejacket.

“Anyone riding a jetski must be the holder of a specific Personal Watercraft Licence and the driver of a boat towing a waterskiier or wakeboarder must hold a General Boat Licence if travelling at more than 10 knots.

“Additionally, there must always be an observer facing the person being towed at all times and the observer must hold a boat or PWC driving licence or be 16 years of age or older. Towing activity involving more than three people is not permitted.”

The operation coincides with the introduction of a new 20 knot speed zone at Ettalong on Brisbane Water, which takes effect this weekend.

“We have installed new signs on both sides of the channel to indicate the speed limit through the area, which comes after a review which assessed a number of factors including the mix of vessels which frequent the waterway, the potential effect on vessel travel times, including the ferry service, complaints and historical boating compliance,” Mr Hutchings said.

“The new 20 knot speed zone in the main channel will give boaters a safer stopping speed, reducing the likelihood of incidents with minimal increase to journey times.”

Jetski use is not permitted on Sydney Harbour and tributaries of Lane Cove and Parramatta rivers. For more information on safe towing and PWC use visit Waterskiing, wakeboarding and towing or Personal watercraft (PWC).

Share this page: