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Are GC waterways more unsafe?

Are GC waterways more unsafe?

by August 17, 2017

On 11 August, our newsletter’s headline was the following:

In the local paper in August 2017, professional boat skippers have attributed the increase in boating incidents to “lunatics” on the water. In 2015, there were 54 reported incidents involving watercraft; in 2016, it rose to 103. The number of registered vessels (43,664 in 2015) saw an increase by 1,073 from 2015 to 2016 (at 44,737). The increase in number of registered vessels is not significantly higher than in past years. (Example: There was an increase of 1,032 from 2014 to 2015; and 1,429 from 2013 to 2014) It would seem that the significant increase in boat-related incidents cannot be attributed to the increase in vessels registered. One question that can be asked though is, are there more boats BEING USED in 2016? And are these boat users competent (meaning they are aware and are knowledgeable about basic navigation rules) to take their boats out? Should we be stricter with boat license renewals, and require further training? Or should we implement massive education and awareness programs for everyone in the community, including our children in school? What are your thoughts?


We sought people’s thoughts. And here are the answers from our subscribers: (We are posting the answers verbatim, but kept the persons’ names anonymous to respect their privacy.)


No the Gold Coast waterways are not safe for boating.
I was in a 16 foot runabout and was swamped by a planning 70 foot motor yacht. The skipper (if you can call them that) was untrained and not experienced and in my view and not controlling the vessel in a safe responsible manner.
My brother recently was underway in his 30 foot bay cruiser and a jet ski lost control and landed in his aft cockpit. The rider fell off before the jetski crashed into the boat. My brothers boat was severely damaged. Had there been any passengers or crew on board there would have been critical injuries.
There needs to be a restriction on all vessels over 6m to 8 knots from Southport up to the Pin.

– N


I only got my license in December 2016 and have only been out a handful of times. I find the rules a little confusing but generally find that I can operate within the rules once I am familiar with the area and surroundings. I mainly use the boat around Straddie and Jumpinpin and have found that the larger Rivera type of boats seem to have no regard what so ever for speed limits, navigation beacons or for the vessels around them, this also applies to most jet skis etc. I think if the rules were enforced in some way, perhaps this may improve. In the few times I have been out with my wife and kids, twice we have been put in danger by larger vessels ignoring 6knot limits to the point of being almost swamped one time and our house boat (40 foot) was spun round and our tender ripped off of its tether from the wakes produced by this type of vessel in a 6knot zone. Hope this is of some help.




The reporting is bias’s, one sided and sensationalism
Geared for those people who read print to think it must be so

Why would you bother , when there are some many good stories

Which you can back up with facts and figures
Increased boat numbers; trailer/ on water/ tenders/ charter have increased
Boat building capital of Australia
As well as an increase in water sports, toys and jet skis
The enviable lifestyle
If wanting to provoke a reaction you have.




Reading the above story, mentioned is the renewal of licences, there lies the problem. A Queensland Recreational Marine Drivers Licence is issued for life.
We believe and have been pushing for years , that a RMDL should be renewed every five years with ones drivers licence.
On line theory training for a RMDL. Is available, which prints out a certificate at the end of the course, this could be returned with ones renewal, the current price of the course is $20 RMDL & Personal Water Craft $15 ( PWC), and I am sure a better price could be negotiated with the owner of the on line course.
This could also be given out as a penalty( on line course certificate to be produced) by QPS instead of a fine.

– G



This discussion was an outcome of the weekly newsletter. Please CLICK HERE to read the newsletter.