Maritime Safety Queensland has come up with a not-so-crazy idea to promote boating safety in the Cairns region with a free Marine Awareness Day (MAD).

Member for Cairns Michael Healy encouraged Cairns boaties to take advantage of the open day at Maritime Safety Queensland’s Base in Tingira Street on Sunday, August 4.

“The Palaszczuk Government through Maritime Safety Queensland is committed to keeping people safe on the water as well as providing a great day out for recreational boaties and their families,” Mr Healy said.

“All major federal and state agencies will be involved including Water Police, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, and Australian Border Force offering everything from lifejacket and flare demonstrations to fishing advice.

“They’ll be helping make sure you have the correct safety equipment, it is up-to-date, and you know how to use it.

“This is all essential preparation for a day out on the water especially if you haven’t been out for a while.

“Marine officers will also be supporting the government’s War on Wrecks program offering advice to vessel owners on long-term maintenance and removal responsibilities.

“Major commercial retailers involved in the boating industry will also be present at this one-off event which is also being promoted by two local radio stations doing live broadcasts along with food stalls, a jumping castle, face painting and prize draws with proceeds to Coastguard for their new boat.

“The Cairns Maritime region includes about 22,000 registered recreational vessels which means we should expect a strong turnout for the event.”

Mr Healy said last year the Cairns region received 38 marine incident reports involving 48 vessels.

“Sadly, there was also one fatality recorded with a further nine hospital admissions as a result of those marine incidents so there’s a very serious side to encouraging boating safety,” he said.

“Maritime Safety Queensland marine officers and their compliance partners regularly attend boat ramps to check vessels and ensure they meet safety requirements.

“Unfortunately, this sometimes means sending boaties home before they even reach the water.

“This safety day is an ideal way to refresh your memory of the rules and have your vessel checked early without the stress of boat-ramp delays.

“If you want to ensure your next day out on the water is safe and enjoyable you’d be MAD to miss it.”

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