Seqwater rangers are gearing up for their busiest time of year, as thousands of holidaymakers flock to South East Queensland’s lakes and parks during the Christmas and New Year period.
Seqwater communication manager Mike Foster said rangers would be working with the Queensland Police Service and other agencies such as Maritime Safety Queensland to enforce safe and responsible behaviour on and off the water.
“The Christmas and New Year period traditionally gets the biggest turnout of people visiting our recreational areas,” Mr Foster said.
“We are expecting more than 100,000 visitors over the festive holiday period. With these large crowds, it’s important all members of the public take care and are considerate of fellow visitors”
Mr Foster said Seqwater’s recreation areas provided for a range of water-based and on-shore activities including boating, camping and fishing as well as facilities such as barbecues and multi-use trails.
“The majority of visitors are well behaved and make the most of the recreational opportunities,” Mr Foster said.
“However, even small amounts of dangerous and inappropriate behaviour can affect everyone.’’
Mr Foster said safe behaviour included staying under the speed limit on and off the water, boaties and jet-skiers keeping their distance from swimmers and supervising children at all times in designated swimming areas.
Brisbane Water Police Officer in Charge Acting Senior Sergeant Jay Bairstow said police would be conducting patrols targeting anti-social behaviour, including drink driving both on land and water.
“Operating a boat while over the legal blood alcohol limit puts yourself, your family, your friends and everyone else on the water in unnecessary danger,” Sen Sgt Bairstow said.
Sen Sgt Bairstow said the patrols were not about stopping people from enjoying themselves rather making sure people acted responsibly and considerate to others.
Mr Foster said despite the increased presence at lakes during the holiday period, Seqwater rangers and police couldn’t be everywhere, which meant people had to take responsibility for their own safety.
“Even if you have visited our lakes before, conditions may have changed,” Mr Foster said. “Take a minute before you leave home to check out the latest recreation and safety notices and the Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast.’’
For information about Seqwater lakes and recreation visit www.seqwater.com.au or download the new Seqwater app.
Seqwater Rangers and Queensland Police will be monitoring:
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Boaties and jet skiers keeping their distance from swimmers and paddlers – 30 metres for boats and 60 metres for jet skis
• People speeding in designated six-knot zones
• People swimming in non-designated areas
• Boat registrations.
• Boaties carrying required lifejackets
Seqwater spokesman Mike Foster talks on how Seqwater works with QPS and Maritime Safety Queensland to keep people safe at SEQ's lakes and dams during the busy holiday period: