Skippers are being urged to take extra care with children on board as they head out onto the water during the Easter school holidays.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said children were more adventurous and less aware of risks than adults.
“This adds to boaties’ responsibilities who must ensure the safety of their passengers and others on the water,” Mr Bailey said.
“Ensuring there’s a lifejacket on board for everyone, and they all know where they are and how to use them, should be foremost in the minds of all skippers."
Mr Bailey said skippers of open boats less than 4.8 metres long were required by law to make sure all passengers younger than 12 years were wearing lifejackets whenever the vessel was underway.
“These rules apply whether you are at the coast or on inland waterways," he said.
“It’s common sense to ensure everyone is wearing a properly fitting personal flotation device at any time you’re on the water – especially children.
“And make sure they’re up to date and properly serviced.
“With children around, it is also more important than ever to keep a proper lookout and observe speed limits."
Mr Bailey said boats towing water skiers had to make sure the skier was wearing the right lifejacket and someone older than 12 was watching at all times.
Maritime Safety Queensland marine inspectors, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrols and Queensland Water Police will be on patrol.
“They’ll be looking out for boaties and jet ski riders who exceed the .05 alcohol limit, speed in six-knot zones or fail to keep their distance from swimmers and paddlers,” Mr Bailey said.
“Checks will also be made to ensure boaties are carrying required safety equipment and that it’s up-to-date and properly serviced.
“If you are going any distance off shore, check if you are required to carry an EPIRB and make sure it’s properly registered with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
“And always let someone know when you’re leaving, your destination and when you’re due back.
“Be prepared for sudden unexpected weather changes and at the first sign of deteriorating weather make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket.
“Have an alternative plan to reach shelter if you can’t get back to your usual mooring or boat ramp and ensure you have enough fuel to get there.
“But most importantly, if in doubt – don’t go out.
“You’re the skipper – you’re responsible.”
For more information on safe boating, visit msq.qld.gov.au
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey