Officer in charge of Hervey Bay Water Police, Sergeant Paul Bacon speaks about the rescue of the men off Moonboom Island. Photo: Brendan Bufi / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Officer in charge of Hervey Bay Water Police, Sergeant Paul Bacon speaks about the rescue of the men off Moonboom Island. Photo: Brendan Bufi / Fraser Coast Chronicle Brendan Bufi

Water police checking boats around Fraser Coast waters

AN OPERATION targeting people under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the water has kicked off across Central Queensland.

The operation, aimed at keeping fishers and boaties on the Fraser Coast safe on the water, will run to September 30 and involves officers from Water Police Gladstone, Hervey Bay and Yeppoon as well as other government agencies.

Hervey Bay's Sergeant Paul Bacon said it was a busy time for local water police crews as they head out conducting vessel intercepts, random breath tests, drug tests and checking safety equipment.

"We are asking boaties to use a bit of common sense and be patient, especially as the weather heats up and waterways become busier," Sergeant Bacon said.

"We are also reminding people about the dangers of alcohol, drug use and boating. You wouldn't drive your car whilst affected by drugs or alcohol - so why would you operate a boat?"

Sergeant Bacon said Water Police crews would also be conducting vessel observations to ensure they are being operated safely.

"In addition to the random breath tests being conducted, Water Police will also be monitoring vessels, including speed detection and to ensure children are wearing their personal flotation devices," Sergeant Bacon said.

"For those heading off shore, always make sure you book on and off with your local Volunteer Marine Rescue or Coast Guard and make sure your emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) is registered, in date and on board with you.

"Importantly, you should also make sure all your lifejackets, flares and your V sheet is also on board before you set off.

"Planning ahead before you head out on the water saves lives. It will also ensure your outing is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

"Remember - complacency and boating don't mix."



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