Boatman John Johansen has been with the Volunteer Marine Rescue for a decade. The Gladstone VMR is experiencing a quieter year out on the water. The group has been running successful boat safety and training courses.
Boatman John Johansen has been with the Volunteer Marine Rescue for a decade. The Gladstone VMR is experiencing a quieter year out on the water. The group has been running successful boat safety and training courses. Paul Braven

Boatie deaths down, navigational errors a factor

TWO people died and two others were injured off our coastline last year.

The tragedies stemmed from 31 incidents, such as collisions and capsizings, in the waters surrounding Gladstone.

Statewide there were 332 incidents leading to five deaths and 28 ocean-goers being hospitalised.

Each person who died was in control of a vessel, and navigational errors played a huge part in most accidents.

In his annual Marine Incidents in Queensland report to the State Parliament, Transport and Main Roads director general Neil Scales said the deaths were down on 2013.

"While loss of life is not acceptable, the five deaths on Queensland waters in 2014 were two fewer than in the previous year, continuing a strong downward trend," Mr Scales said in the report.

"While they are low in number, the fatalities in 2014 nevertheless resulted in huge personal tragedy for many people.

"The master of a vessel has a great deal of responsibility and needs to always keep in mind and be aware of the obvious and hidden dangers of operating on our waterways."

Mr Scales said the Department of Transport was continually updating information provided to masters to help improve marine safety.

"There is room for ongoing improvement," he said.

"Fundamental to improved maritime safety is the way in which experienced boaties practise a culture of safety and encourage newcomers to follow their example."

- APN NEWSDESK



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