Boaties are urged to make a few simple safety checks before hitting the water this Easter weekend which could prevent a raft of problems and also save someone's life.
The advice from Coastguard operations manager Ray Burge comes after a busy summer season for Coastguard volunteers who responded to a total of almost 2000 incidents nationwide.
With the Easter forecast looking favourable the Coastguard is expecting boaties to make the most of the good weather before the onset of winter.
Coastguard volunteers around the country are trained to respond to all sorts of scenarios and attend to dozens of life-threatening situations every month,
But it is breakdowns and fuel problems on boats that are the main reasons boaties call Coastguard for assistance, Burge said.
To avoid the long weekend being cut short, boat owners should make safety a priority, he said.
"Our volunteers will be working over the long weekend and on call to assist people out on the water," Burge said.
"No one gets under way expecting to run into trouble but sometimes things don't always go to plan. But if you check the condition of your boat, make sure you've got the right equipment on board and have enough fuel this will minimise the risk of something going wrong out on the water," he said.
A small mechanical issue can quickly escalate into a "life-threatening" situation.
Burge said boaties should walk around their boat and check the hull for any visible signs of damage.
"Ensure you carry enough fuel for the journey and check fuel lines for cracks and corrosion. And, finally, check your battery," he urged.
"Flat batteries cause a lot of headaches for boat users with Coastguard volunteers attending to a high number of these call-outs each year," says Burge.
"Check that your battery is charged, that it continues to hold a charge and be mindful of your usage on the water – turn that fishfinder off if you're not using it, as even small loads can eventually sap a battery over the course of a day on the water," he said.
Burge also recommends taking out a Coastguard membership for peace of mind.
"Signing up to become a Coastguard member is a no brainer," he said.
"We say a Coastguard membership is your best mate out on the water no matter if you are a paddle boarder, kayaker, jet skier or boatie."
Burge urged boaties to also wear lifejackets at all times, have two forms of waterproof communication onboard and always check the local marine weather forecast.
"As a skipper, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone on board and your vessel," he said.