The NSW Police Marine Area Command has issued 60 infringements and 24 warnings so far during a proactive police operation on the state’s waterways this weekend.
Operation Armada, a high-visibility and mobile policing strategy targeting vessels and personal watercraft compliance, commenced 7am yesterday (Saturday 5 December 2020) and runs until 7pm today (Sunday 6 December 2020), across waterways throughout the state.
The operation involves officers from the Marine Area Command, local officers from Police Area Commands and Police Districts across the state.
During the two-day operation, more than 100 officers and 54 police boats were deployed, carrying out 120 drug tests and random breath tests on 733 boats and 175 jet skis, and patrolling 210 boat ramps and marinas.
About 60 infringement notices were issued for speeding, not having correct safety equipment, and not wearing life jackets. However, there were no positive drug or alcohol tests.
Superintendent Joseph McNulty, Marine Area Commander, said he was pleased with the result.
“It’s good to see that people are taking safety seriously when it comes to drug and drink driving, that’s a really positive result.”
“But I also want to remind the boat users who were fined about the importance of wearing lifejackets, having correct safety equipment and not speeding.”
“If you are a skipper, remember you are responsible for the safety of everyone on your boat. If you are operation a passenger , wear a life jacket; it will save your life.
Major waterways throughout the state were targeted including Yamba, Bellingen, Kalang River, Port Stephens, Newcastle Harbour, Pittwater, Ettalong, Botany Bay, Georges River, Port Hacking, Audley, Shoalhaven, Wollongong Harbour, Crookhave River, Kiama, Eden, Wallaga Lake, Bermagui and Merimbula.
Superintendent Mcnulty said police will continue to be out in force over the summer period, with operations targeting rule breaking.
“We have some of the most picturesque waterways in the country, which also means they see a significant increase in recreational activity during warmer months, meaning more boating incidents and water related injuries and fatalities.
“Large-scale operations like this are necessary during the warmer months to ensure the communities safety on our waterways by targeting dangerous and anti-social behaviour.
“Those with personal watercrafts take this as your warning – we won’t tolerate unsafe and dangerous behaviour, we will have our sights set on you.”