OLDER boaters are much more likely to find themselves in trouble when out on the water than youngsters, according to Maritime Safety Victoria’s latest incident statistics.
Figures for 2015-16 show the most likely cause of them being in the water is capsizing their boat.
In just two days in early August, five people in two different incidents found themselves immersed in cold water after they capsized and none of them was able to call for help immediately.
Of the five, four were aged 60 or over and their two boats had capsized, which continued the trend identified in the MSV statistics.
Three of the five were off Merricks in Western Port and the other two were in Port Phillip. All managed to either swim to safety or were helped by other boat owners.
Maritime Safety director Peter Corcoran said boaters should have some way of raising the alarm when they go out.
“The five people rescued were all wearing lifejackets, which is the first step to surviving when you fall into the water,” he said. “Step two is having a means of raising the alarm that will work when and where you need it. Don’t rely on your mobile phone or being seen.
“Wearing a comfortable, well-fitted lifejacket that has been serviced will give you time to raise the alarm or wait for help and could be the difference between life and death.
“Last year there were nine fatalities – a number I want to see going down and not up.”
First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 6 September 2016