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Can you conquer the 30-second challenge?

Last weekend the WA Department of Transport (DoT) and Main Roads checked up on boaters between Woodman Point and Port Kennedy.

Their objective? Make sure West Australians have their boats and trailers up to scratch, and the right safety gear on board.

If you’re not sure if your boat is up to date, you may like to check out the DoT’s free BEST Check guide. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s BEST?

DoT Director of Waterways Safety, Chris Mather, told Community News that BEST stands for ‘Boat, Equipment, Safety Equipment and Trailer’.

He said these items should be maintained before every trip.

BEST offers a yearly 45-point check, which boat owners are encouraged to complete before they get to the ramp.

During the safety check up last weekend, Mather said.

“Officers will also be taking the opportunity to reinforce the importance of having the correct safety equipment in good working order and will be advocating skippers and passengers take the 30 Second Challenge which tests readiness for an emergency response on board a vessel.”

To access the Safety Guidelines BEST Check guide, please click here.

What is the 30-second challenge?

The 30-second challenge is for skippers and passengers. The challenge tests whether you’re ready for an emergency, by asking you to do the following tasks in 30-seconds:

  • Gather flares and an EPIRB.
  • Make a call on the radio.
  • Put on a lifejacket.

Why every second counts

According to Mather, 20 of the 29 boating related fatalities (69%) in WA over the past 4 years, could have been avoided if the person had worn a life jacket before entering the water.

This statistic is certainly frightening, and goes to the absolute necessity of wearing a life jacket in the event of an emergency (and whenever you’re on the water!).

The 30-second challenge is a great initiative, which encourages boat lovers to take time out and train to be ready, should an incident occur.

If you’ve never given it a go, we encourage you to grab a stopwatch and a mate, and see who can get through the challenge fastest.

When emergencies do happen, it’s hard to know how we will react. This simple challenge allows us to improve reaction time, when every saved second could ultimately save your life.

Maintaining your boat

Now that summer is just around the corner, and you’re more likely to be spending time on the water, it’s vital that your boat, trailer and safety gear is in working order.

Over winter, it can be easy to let maintenance slide, which means taking your boat and trailer in for a service is an excellent way to kick start the season.

Checking your safety gear is also important, so make sure your life jacket, flares and other safety equipment is in date and operational, before hitting the water.

It may seem like a bit of effort, but the reality is that if circumstances do take a turn for the worse, you will be grateful for the extra time and money you spent taking care of the gear that takes care of you.

Are you covered?

This is also a good time to ensure you’re comprehensively covered. Our marine underwriters can prepare a free quote, which covers you for the stuff that matters.

Our cover is affordable and comprehensive, which means you’re taken care of, should an accident happen. Call us for a free quote and stay safe out there.