140 William St, Perth, WA 6000
GPO Box C102, Perth, WA 6839
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July 1 deadline nears for flares to be in date
Skippers in WA required to carry flares must ensure they have an in date set on board from July 1, 2013.
Department of Transport (DoT) Marine Operations Director Ray Buchholz said expired flares in good condition were not reliable and there was a risk they would fail in an emergency.
The deadline was announced last November following a survey revealing around half of vessels operating in unprotected waters in WA carried out of date flares. There is also evidence flares become increasing less reliable the older they are.
“The information prompted a decision to take a firm stance on the carriage of expired flares in the interest of saving lives on the water in WA,” Mr Buchholz said.
“From July 1, 2013 skippers operating in waters where flares are a required piece of safety equipment must carry an in date set or risk a $160 fine.”
Mr Buchholz said out of date flares may be carried on board a vessel as spares or skippers could correctly dispose of out of date flares by dropping them at the DoT offices listed as collection centres (www.transport.wa.gov.au/dontexpire).
He said it was pleasing that the majority of skippers had supported the changes and had acted to ensure their flares where in date ahead of the deadline.
To assist skippers to manage the expiry dates on flares and other safety equipment DoT launched the Don’t Expire campaign which includes practical advice and the tools to keep track of safety equipment with an expiry date.
A special sticker is available to record the expiry dates for flares, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB), fire extinguishers and inflatable life jackets. Skippers can also set the expiry dates in their diary or on their mobile phone to remember to service or replace safety equipment.
Free Don’t Expire stickers and brochures are available from DoT's Marine Safety Education Trailer which attends metropolitan boat shows, regional events and boat ramps throughout WA, DoT offices or by contacting the Marine Safety Hotline on 1300 863 308.
To view the Don’t Expire campaign and for more information on safe boating visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/dontexpire