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Skippers encouraged to stay safe at sea

Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) is reminding recreational boat users to steer clear of shipping channels and restricted waterside areas as part of the annual Recreational Vessel Safety Campaign.

The campaign first launched in 2015 after repeated incidents of recreational vessels anchoring in shipping channels, fishing in restricted zones, and coming dangerously close to cape sized vessels.

PPA General Manager of Marine Operations Captain Philip Christy says large commercial vessels have a blind spot which extends for hundreds of meters.

“Bulk carriers cannot stop or change course quickly, so to avoid a collision and serious injury, skippers need to be aware of their surroundings, and be aware of where they should and shouldn’t be,” Captain Christy said.

“With more than 17,000 vessel movements occurring each year at PPA ports, skippers need to be aware of the rules and restrictions to keep themselves and their passengers safe.

“Fortunately, the number of reported incidents has declined in recent years, but we’re reminding recreational boat users to stay vigilant and avoid unnecessary risks when sharing the harbour.”

Skippers should keep clear of large commercial vessels, only cross shipping channels when it is safe, stay out of waterside restricted zones and never anchor within the shipping channel.

Unauthorised entry into a waterside restricted zone can attract a fine of $11,100. Damaging, interfering, or tying a vessel to a navigational aid can lead to a penalty of up to $20,000 or 20 months imprisonment.
Source: Pilbara Ports Authority

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