Matthew Hayden on board for safety campaign

NSW Maritime has launched a $200,000 boating safety campaign featuring former Australian cricket opener Matthew Hayden, Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi announced today.

Tripodi said the campaign called ‘Keep Your Eye on the Ball’ is set to run until the end of the boating season this Easter.
“Matthew is a keen boater who understands the importance of safety and skippers being responsible at all times for the lives of all on board.

“The safety awareness campaign stresses one of the fundamental boating messages of keeping a good lookout at all times.”
Mr Tripodi said the star batsman had donated his time to the campaign which is an extension of a National Marine Safety Committee project to improve boating safety.

“Just as ‘keeping your eye on the ball’ is important in cricket, keeping a good lookout on the water is vital for safe boating,” Matthew explained.
“There are so many things that can change every time you go out such as a slight adjustment in a sand bar.

“You need to read navigation beacons correctly and be aware of other boats in half light or where you can’t see because you are blinded by sun or salt on the window.
“Things can change in an instant, another boat can come out of nowhere, a wave can swamp you and suddenly you can be in real trouble.”

NSW Maritime figures indicate 42 per cent of boating incidents over the past three years involved grounding and collisions, highlighting the need for skippers to keep a proper look out.
“That is especially relevant now, with the increased amount of debris in our waterways as a result of the recent flooding in NSW,” Mr Tripodi said.

Mr Tripodi said skippers were being asked to follow a few important rules:
• Keep a proper lookout;
• Keep to a safe speed for the conditions;
• Keep to the right side of channels;
• Ensure your boat is in good working order, especially navigation lights at night;
• Wear lifejackets in times of heightened risk such as when crossing a bar or when conditions get rough.
The NSW Maritime campaign is running on TV, radio, online and in print