New radio guide to assist skippersSkippers in WA now have access to a free guide specially produced to boost the boating community's understanding of marine radio requirements and operating procedures.
Skippers in WA now have access to a free guide specially produced to boost the boating community's understanding of marine radio requirements and operating procedures.
DoT coordinator of Safety Education Laurie Adams said communication was vital in an emergency and knowing how to use a marine radio properly could help save a life.
"The new guide details when a vessel is required to have a marine radio, the need for it to be licensed, the channels to use and operating procedures," Mr Adams said.
"Before and after each trip skippers should log on and log off and the guide includes tips on this procedure. It also details the different types of distress calls to ensure the correct one is made."
The guide, which is the first of its kind produced for WA skippers, includes a comprehensive list of call signs, VHF, 27Mhz and HF frequencies to contact local volunteer marine rescue groups. VHF repeater stations and Australian Coast Radio Monitors (ACRM) base stations for the entire State are also listed.
Vessels navigating more than 5 nautical miles off the coast need a marine radio. However, it's recommended to have a marine radio when going offshore any distance. Mobile telephones, although useful as a backup to communications, cannot replace a marine radio.
"DoT suggests a copy of the guide is kept on vessels with a marine radio for easy reference for logging on and off or for reference in the event of an emergency," Mr Adams said.
Visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/radios to download the new guide or any of DoT's free boating guides or other safety publications. Contact the Marine Safety Hotline on 1300 836 308 to be sent a copy or for any other boating safety information.
Media contact: Bronwyn Hillman 0408 098 220
PLBs now approved for paddlersThe required safety equipment for paddle craft enthusiasts operating more than 400 metres offshore has been expanded to include increasingly popular personal locator beacons (PLB).
The required safety equipment for paddle craft enthusiasts operating more than 400 metres offshore has been expanded to include increasingly popular personal locator beacons (PLB).
Department of Transport (DoT) Coordinator of Safety Education Laurie Adams said laws introduced 18 months ago boosting safety for users of canoes, kayaks, surf skis, inflatables or similar paddle craft had been improved following stakeholder feedback.
"DoT consulted closely with Canoeing WA, Outdoors WA, Surf Lifesaving WA, Sea Kayak Club WA, Indian Ocean Paddlers Club, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and following discussions, amended the laws to allow PLBs to be carried as an alternative to electronic position indication radio beacons (EPIRB). However, the PLB must be attached to the paddler," Mr Adams said.
There will be continued consultation with Surf Lifesaving WA to work through some operational issues."
Recreational paddle craft operating between 400 metres and 2 nautical miles from shore in unprotected waters must carry a bailer (if the deck is not self-draining), lifejackets, in date flares or an in date registered EPIRB or PLB. Between 2 and 5 nautical miles a lifejacket, a bilge pump/bailer (if not self-draining) and an in date registered EPIRB or PLB must be carried, and further than 5 nautical miles out an in date offshore flare kit and a marine radio must be added to the equipment required for between 2 and 5 nautical miles.
Mr Adams said the safety requirements do not apply to hire paddle craft, surfboards and stand up paddle-boards which are not considered vessels under the current laws.
The free DoT brochure Paddle Safe outlines the required safety equipment and also contains valuable information about navigation lights, registration and voyage preparation.
A quick reference sticker is also available from DoT and retailers to assist paddlers to comply with the safety requirements.
Visit paddlesafe for a copy of Paddle Safe or contact the Marine Safety Hotline on 1300 863 308.
Media contact: Bronwyn Hillman 0408 098 220
Northern Goldfields benefits from flights dealThe Department of Transport (DoT) has welcomed a boost to air services for northern Goldfields residents thanks to an innovative approach by the resources industry, airlines and government.
The Department of Transport (DoT) has welcomed a boost to air services for northern Goldfields residents thanks to an innovative approach by the resources industry, airlines and government.
"It's a terrific example of how the State Government and the aviation and resources industries are working together in support of regular passenger transport (RPT) air services for WA's remote communities," said DoT Deputy Director-General Sue McCarrey of the agreement between Skippers Aviation and Ramelius Resources Ltd, facilitated by the DoT.
"At present, it takes about four hours for the people of Mt Magnet to fly to Perth via stop-offs at Meekatharra and Wiluna when the drive takes only about one hour more.
"But following engagement by DoT with Skippers and Ramelius, the Ramelius board has agreed to utilise Skippers' RPT services, instead of chartering their own private planes.
"This means that the Mt Magnet community will, from 1 September 2014, have access to a new direct return service to Perth on Mondays and Fridays, cutting about three hours off the trip.
"The new Mt Magnet-Perth service also means a quicker trip with fewer stops for the Monday and Friday triangulated Perth-Meekatharra-Wiluna-Perth RPT service; while the Tuesday and Wednesday schedule between Perth and Mt Magnet, Meekatharra and Wiluna remains."
Mt Magnet Shire Council president Ashley Dowden praised the collaboration between Ramelius and Skippers through DoT, to achieve better RPT air services for the region.
"It's a great result for residents of Mt Magnet but also encouraging for residents of resources communities across WA, to see mining companies working with RPT providers to the benefit of local communities," said Mr Dowden.
The northern Goldfields is one of eight RPT routes currently subject to a State Government review of regulated RPT air routes in WA. To view the proposed regulatory approaches and charter policy, and submit a comment by 31 October 2014, visit the Review of regulated air routes in WA page.
Media contact: Narelle Hine 0439 516 500