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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Safety First When On The Boat This Easter

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) and the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) are urging Queensland residents to take care when heading out on a boat these holidays.

EMQ Acting Regional Director for Brisbane Mike Shapland said staying safe on the water started long before seafarers boarded the boat. 

“Preparation is key and boating enthusiasts need to make sure they are well prepared before going out on the water,” Mr Shapland said.

“The biggest priority is ensuring lifejackets are available to everyone on board the boat. A lifejacket, as its name suggests, could save your life in an emergency situation and is an essential safety item for all boating enthusiasts.”

Mr Shapland stressed the importance of purchasing an Emergency Position Indicating Response Beacon (EPIRB) to ensure boats could be located at sea in the event of an emergency. 

“An EPIRB is an essential safety item, especially if you’re heading out on the water for a few days. If you get into trouble, you can activate the EPIRB and it will relay a message to the search and rescue coordination centre in Canberra who will notify the appropriate authorities,” Mr Shapland said.

“Boaties should visit for EPIRB and lifejacket information for Queensland.”

Queensland Ambulance Service Assistant Commissioner for Brisbane Region Leo McNamara said it was also important to be aware of sun safety while out on the water, as sunburn and dehydration were dangers at sea.

“Don’t burn on the boat. Ensure you apply plenty of sunscreen throughout the day as well as wear a hat and sunglasses. It’s also critical to ensure you keep well hydrated by drinking lots of water,” he said. 

“Heat related illnesses such as heat stress and heat stroke can be serious and if left untreated, they can be life threatening. Signs of these illnesses include flushed or pale skin, cramps, nausea, headache, dizziness, disorientation, drowsiness or fainting and collapsing. 

“If you suspect someone is suffering from a heat related illness, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.”