Gladstone boating deaths highest in Qld
MARINE deaths are occurring in Gladstone at a higher rate than elsewhere in Queensland, a report has shown.
The report, Marine Incidents in Queensland 2013, which was released this month, states that of the 13 fatalities recorded, four were in Gladstone and there were also seven hospital incidents.
Recreational fisherman Jacob Souten, who fishes regularly at the reef, said when he headed out on the water safety was a high priority.
"We always have life jackets, flares and follow the lanes," he said.
He said it was important that mariners made sure they had Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons when out on the water.
"That way you can be saved if something happens like a sinking," he said.
Gladstone resident Leigh Arnol said he was a keen waterskier.
He said once a learner waterskier nearly drowned after falling off.
Mr Arnol said wearing a life jacket at all times and not drinking on the boat can prevent accidents.
"It's also good to keep an eye out for other boats that might be in trouble," he said.
Maurice Blackburn public liability principal Alison Barrett said the findings of the report once again exposed serious gaps in the licensing, registration and insurance regimes surrounding marine vessels.
"In Queensland it is very easy to secure a marine licence, with little training or monitoring required - it is only a six-hour course including theory and practical to get a recreational boat licence and just two hours for a jetski licence," Ms Barrett said.
THE GRIM FACTS
Of the 13 fatalities reported across Queensland, eight involved recreational vessels.
71% of incidents involved a single vessel.
65% of those killed or injured were not in charge of the vessel at the time of the incident.