SPEEDING boats and jet skis being driven too close to other vessels and swimmers from Mount Martha to Sorrento have alarmed Water Police.
They warn that due to an “increase in dangerous behaviour and, in some cases, serious marine incidents” they will have a “highly visible presence” on Port Phillip towards year’s end.
As part of Operation Southend last weekend the Water Police as well as Mornington Peninsula police were out enforcing water safety on boat ramps and beaches, focusing on “compliance with water safety rules to reduce the number of marine incidents and collisions caused by unsafe behaviour”.
Police say they will “continue to be active over the coming weeks to ensure speeding and distance rules for both vessels and jet skis are observed”.
Anyone who sees dangerous behaviour on the water can report non-urgent incidents on 131 444, or, in an emergency, 000.
Water Police Sergeant Dave McHenry said: “More incidents occur as more people are out and about – especially over long weekends and the holiday period.
“We know that recreational boating and jet-ski use is extremely popular in the bay. People need to be mindful that dangerous and reckless behaviour will not be tolerated.
“We want everyone to enjoy themselves safely. However, police will hold people to account who fail to observe marine safety laws.”
Sergeant McHenry said there had been an “increase in the number of incidents and, in some cases, collisions and serious injuries, with jet skis”.
“They are not toys,” he said. “They are large, heavy, fast-moving machines and the results of a collision, be it with a swimmer or another vessel, can be catastrophic.
“Jet ski users need to know the rules of the water and adhere to them or, as this operation shows, police will catch up with them.”
First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 22 December 2020