Water safety and school holiday fun
Whether it is running a multi-million-dollar ship tracking system covering the entire Great Barrier Reef, to preventing maritime accidents and safeguarding Australia's most precious marine environmental icons or helping kids with holiday activities, The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has a big job.
Not only does that job cover Australia's huge coastline but also includes the safety of boats and ships of all sizes and their safe construction and crewing in conjunction with Maritime Safety Queensland and the Water Police.
The AMSA website has plenty to help holiday kids better understand our marine environment and what can be done to protect it.
The AMSA website has been developed to encourage children to learn about the marine environment in a fun and interactive way. It will help them become more aware, respectful and passionate about our marine environment.
An oil spill cleanup experiment shows the effects of oil and explains what happens to spilled oil and experiments about oil bioremediation after the initial cleanup
Protect our seas education kits may be requested and other links explored at www.amsa.gov.au/kids
Family fun on the water
Boating is an exciting and fun, family leisure option and by educating away some of the risks, parents can relax and the whole family will gain more from the experience.
Perhaps you didn't know that a good game can be made with lifejacket practice. Here goes, the game of 25 Second Lifejackets.
Run a 25-second lifejacket drill. When the skipper yells 'Lifejackets' everyone on board should appear on deck with their lifejacket on and a designated crew member also carries the grab bag of safety gear. Practise this with the family until it is completed within 25 seconds; no longer!
Over the side kid! Your children need to experience jumping into the water with their lifejacket on. As well as being a great advance check of the suitability of the jacket, it is essential that the children have confidence in the flotation of their jacket to reduce the possibility of panic in an emergency. Find that nice warm bay and jump off the stern fully kitted up, get them used to swimming around in the jacket so that they learn the effect of the extra buoyancy on their body.
Show your children how to hold the jacket by pulling down gently on the collar while they jump. A fun but valuable practice is to jump in fully clothed with the jacket as your children will not necessarily be in their togs in an emergency and different clothing can affect their flotation.
These practices can be a fun game for children, making them better prepared in an emergency and give parents confidence in the effectiveness of safety measures.
Family as Crew
Engage your family as much as possible in the operation of the boat. More experience and knowledge leads to less danger. Kids should be shown and encouraged to start/stop the engine, use the manual winches, switch electrical equipment on an off, operate the anchor control, VHF radio and trim the sails.
St Bees Island - a feral animal control program using live firing weapons will take place on St Bees Island October 3 7. An exclusion zone extends 500 metres seaward of the High Water mark. Marine VHF sécurité calls will be made on channel 16 by the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service vessel 'Tamoya'. AUS charts 251 & 823
Abel Point Marina Entrance - be advised that the port lateral mark No.6 beacon Fl R 3s and starboard lateral mark No. 7 beacon Fl G 3s, which mark the entrance into Abel Point Marina, is temporarily unlit.
AUS charts 253 & 268
Port of Airlie Marina - pile-driving operations continue in Port of Airlie Marina. A Fl Y light marks the outermost pile by night.
Mariners should use caution in the vicinity.
AUS charts 252 & 268
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North