MARTIN FOLEY MP LAUNCHES BOATSMART
MARTIN FOLEY MP has officially launched the Boatsmart - Taking Young Boaters Beyond the Basics program at the Boatshed on Albert Park Lake.
Mr Foley joined Boating Victoria and Marine Safety Victoria recently to formally launch the program which will see teenagers from across the state learn to enjoy recreational boating in a safe and responsible manner.
Several schools have already completed the educational boating program, with many more expected to take part thanks to funding from Marine Safety Victoria.
The program aims to provide secondary school students with the knowledge and practical skills they need for safe recreational boating.
The program employs qualified Boating Victoria staff who combine essential theory with a practical on- water component. Topics include Trip Preparation, Safe operation, Emergency Procedures, Buoyage Systems and practical skills. The course consists of two days theory in a classroom and one full day of practical on water skills
Boating Education co-ordinator Ian Fox said the program was free, fun and offered secondary school students the opportunity to gain valuable skills and help ensure that future recreational boating experiences are safe and enjoyable.
Mr Fox said students who successfully completed the course would be issued with a Marine Safety Victoria certificate, enabling them to receive a Victorian Boat Operators licence from Vicroads without further testing.
``The Boat Smart program is aimed at kids with an interest in boating,'' Mr Fox said.
``In Victoria kids can get a restricted recreational boat licence from the age of 12 and this allows them to operate a powerboat unsupervised. Marine Safety Victoria has identified young boaters as being over represented in boating accidents and the Boat Smart taking young boaters beyond the basics is a program developed by Boating Victoria with funding from Marine Safety Victoria designed to address this problem.''
Mr Fox said Boating Victoria was also proud to announce the purchase of a 6.1 metre boat, capable of carrying up to 12 adults, specifically for the program.
Mr Fox said the boat was worth around $50,000 and would travel to different destinations around the state.
Schools which have already taken part in the program include Footscray College, Dromana Secondary College, Patterson River Secondary College, Mordialloc Secondary College and Rosebud Secondary College.
Navy Cadets, Lilydale Secondary College,Wonthaggi Secondary College, Sea Scouts, Belmont Secondary College, Lorne P12, Mirboo North Secondary College and Echuca College have all booked in to complete the program.
The Boat Smart program was established with funding from Marine Safety Victoria which is pleased to see that the program continues to provide safe boating messages to young people throughout Victoria.
Boating Victoria, part of Yachting Victoria, is the peak representative body for recreational boaters at clubs in Victoria.
Boating Victoria would like to thank sponsors Silver Marine, Central Marine and Club Marine for their support of Boatsmart.
Web Site: www.boatingvictoria.com.au
Boating Victoria Contact: Ian Fox: 0413 615 874
Ends: Jennifer Milligan
Boating Victoria Media & PR
0448 884 993