VMR show off their new boat. Vice Skipper of Gladstone Rescue I, Hamish McLeod. Photo Christopher Chan/The Observer
VMR show off their new boat. Vice Skipper of Gladstone Rescue I, Hamish McLeod. Photo Christopher Chan/The Observer Christopher Chan GLA210112ESSA

Marine report reveals Gladstone's boat ownership, incidents

NEW data from Transport and Main Roads reveals that Gladstone has the third highest boat ownership in the region, with one in 11 people owning a boat.

Brisbane and Mackay are leading the pack with one vessel for every 25 people in Brisbane and one in 10 people owning a boat in Mackay.

Ship and Sale boat shop owner Pat Laws said despite last year's data, boat sales were up 40 per cent this year.

"Mackay is still ahead of us in boat sale numbers but it's probably more to do with the health of their economy," Mr Laws said.

"Our economy is also healthier compared to last year and boats are usually the best indicator of that because they are a luxury item and generally people with excess money can afford them.

"Four years ago a lot of young blokes working on the island were buying boats because they had excess cash but now I'm finding it's more mature buyers with stable income who want a luxury toy.

"It's a good sign for the economy."

The Transport and Main Roads June 2017 report also reveals that Gladstone has the second highest maritime incidents in the region with 72 reports - up by 11 per cent from 2016.

The data showed that 12 people were injured, including two who died and six admitted to hospital from Gladstone waters.

Gladstone Vessel Marine Rescue chief controller Mick McAullay said already there had been 30 incidents in the past six months for 2018.

"Most of those incidents have been for fuel deliveries, medical evacuations, flat batteries, general break downs and police-activated jobs when people go missing or put out a flare," Mr McAullay said.

"We had a call out for a boat capsizing with two males on board about two weeks ago as well.

"All I can say is to educate yourself before you head out on the boat, Gladstone's waterways are dangerous.

"The Gladstone area is pretty good, the waterways are dangerous and you need to be careful with whatever you do.

"Knowing simple things like how to correctly use a life jacket could save your life."

The Gladstone region also accounted for 16 per cent of the region's 1031 collisions with the majority of incidents occurring in marinas or at boat ramps when a vessel was unattended.

During 2017, Gladstone region received 72 marine incident reports involving 102 vessels, 86 of them ships.

Mr Laws said boat buyers were also handed a water safety guide.

"We always make the buyer aware of how to be safe on the water, especially about the dangers of not refuelling," he said.

REGION'S BOAT OWNERSHIP

Brisbane: 145,437

Gladstone: 47,880

Mackay: 19,257

Townsville: 22,891

Cairns: 22,001



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