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Record boats on harbour but most were on best behaviour

EASTER went aquatic over the long weekend, with a record number of vessels using Gladstone harbour.

Serious incidents were avoided despite the heightened marine traffic.

Water Police Gladstone acting sergeant Neale Whalley said more than 250 intercepts were conducted over the weekend, yet fewer than 10% of boaties were found to be doing the wrong thing.

"A total of 257 intercepts were carried out over the Easter weekend which found a high level of compliance, with only 18 infringements issued, mostly due to safety equipment, mainly EPIRB, flare and rego issues," Acting Sgt Whalley said.

Gladstone Volunteer Marine Rescue president and duty controller Jeff Kidner said the Easter weekend had broken the previous record for harbour traffic.

Mr Kidner said VMR had recorded 340 vessels that had logged on and off with the service over the weekend, but said that 340 may only account for about 30% of the actual harbour traffic, as many boaties did not use the services of VMR.

"Our figures, we capture probably about 30% of the boating public; it's been a huge weekend," he said.

"Despite the record numbers of people on the harbour, there's been relatively few incidents.

"We've only towed one or two vessels all weekend and that's phenomenal."

Acting Sgt Whalley thanked harbour users for their overall compliance, especially with breath-testing operations.

He urged boaties to keep checking their EPIRB registrations and their flares.

Topics:  boating easter gladstone harbour gladstone water police long weekend



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