Top 10 water safety tips — Sea Rescue calls for caution over summer holidays

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Derek Ryall urges those heading out on the water over the holiday period to be prepared.
Camera IconDerek Ryall urges those heading out on the water over the holiday period to be prepared. Credit: Laurie Benson

The head of Albany Sea Rescue is calling for preparation and caution during the summer holidays, with a surge in ocean traffic at local hotspots expected.

In the months leading up to summer, Albany Sea Rescue has been quiet, with only two tow jobs carried out in November.

But commander Derek Ryall called for boaties to remain vigilant during the festive period, with an influx of holidaymakers set to hit the waters around Albany.

“We are expecting it to really crank up,” Mr Ryall said.

“We’re expecting boat traffic to really increase and remain busy through to the end of January.

“Our crew is ready for an emergency. We phone who is available over this period and the radio is manned 24 hours a day.

“With our radio operators and action crew, we run at about 30 people.”

Mr Ryall, who has been Albany Sea Rescue’s commander for just over a year, said sticking to the safety basics and doing them right made all the difference. “So many jobs we head out to, it could have been avoided,” he said.

“With more families out in boats and kids in boats, PFDs (personal flotation devices) are so vital for them.

“We want people to enjoy being out on the water but do it responsibly and take care.”

He said one of the most important steps for boaties was to log on with Sea Rescue before heading out.

Albany Sea Rescue Commander Derek Ryall.
Camera IconAlbany Sea Rescue Commander Derek Ryall. Credit: Laurie Benson

TOP 10 SAFETY TIPS

- Check boat is seaworthy, including batteries, spare battery and anchor.

- Carry enough fuel.

- Tell relatives where you are going.

- Be aware of where you are travelling, avoiding sandbars and trouble spots.

- Log on by radio with Sea Rescue. Use CH82 from Albany to West Cape Howe, and CH81 east of Two Peoples Bay.

- Don’t turn radio off after logging on.

- Don’t turn mobile phone off.

- Carry correct PFDs for every person on board.If engine problems occur, check battery terminals and gear lever.

- Know your GPS co-ordinates.

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