Police and Seqwater rangers increase dam patrols

PATROLLING: Seqwater Principal Compliance Officer Amber Blake with fellow compliance officer Patrick McEvoy aboard SeqWater's patrol and maintenance vessel out on Lake Moogerah.
PATROLLING: Seqwater Principal Compliance Officer Amber Blake with fellow compliance officer Patrick McEvoy aboard SeqWater's patrol and maintenance vessel out on Lake Moogerah.

More police and rangers than ever will be patrolling the Scenic Rim’s dams as we move into the hotter months.

Seqwater is urging people to play safe and be courteous during the busiest period of the year.

Among the main concerns, are ensuring people are mindful of hazards, changed conditions, weather forecasts and the laws when camping, boating, fishing and skiing on the water this summer

Seqwater principle compliance officer Amber Blake said a run of dry weather meant water levels in dams were lower than previous years, exposing obstacles such as tree stumps and fences.

She warned the public to be cautious and to report any hazards noticed in frequently used areas to authorities so they could be removed.

“Fingers crossed we don’t get any marine incidents this summer,” she said.

“There was a couple of nasty ones last year.”

Mrs Blake said vessel owners needed to be aware that any marine accidents were required to be reported to the police, a shipping inspector or Marine Safety Queensland.

Police will be out in force conducting random breath and drug tests, with additional officers trained to administer the tests on the water.

Masters of boats and jet skis must also comply with all licencing and safety requirements, and speed and distance rules or risk being fined.

Moogerah and Maroon dams may be popular for high speed water activities but boats must travel six knots or less when within 30 metres of the shore and jet skis must slow to six knots within 60 metres of land.

Only electric and motorless vessels are allowed at Wyaralong Dam.

Fishermen are reminded that the region’s freshwater dams are stock dams and a permit is required to throw in a line.

Mrs Blake highlighted a recent incident, which resulted in an unlicensed jet ski operator being fined $500.

“Ensure you have those competencies because you don’t want to be fined,” she said.

“Know the speed and distance rules.

“Take the refresher course on the Marine Safety Queensland website.”

Mrs Blake said dam users should remember to be considerate of others and appreciative that everyone is trying to relax and enjoy the region’s dams.