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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Operation Armada sinks offenders on the water

The NSW Police Marine Area Command was kept busy on the Hunter’s waterways at the weekend, issuing numerous infringements and warnings.

Operation Armada, a high-visibility and mobile policing strategy targeting vessels and personal watercraft compliance, took place on Saturday 5 December and Sunday 6 December throughout the state, including Newcastle Harbour and Port Stephens.

The two-day campaign also involved local officers from police area commands and districts.

Fifty-four boats were deployed, too, carrying out 120 drug and random breath tests on 733 vessels and 175 jet skis, while patrolling 210 boat ramps and marinas.

About 60 infringement notices were issued for speeding, not having correct safety equipment, and not wearing life jackets.

However, there were no positive drug or alcohol tests.

Marine Area Commander Superintendent Joseph McNulty said he was pleased with the result.

“It’s good to see that people are taking safety seriously when it comes to drug and drink driving, that’s a really positive result,” he stated.

“But, I also want to remind the boat users who were fined about the importance of wearing lifejackets, having correct safety equipment and not speeding.

“If you are a skipper, remember you are responsible for the safety of everyone on your boat.

“If you are operation a passenger, wear a life jacket; it will save your life.”

Superintendent McNulty said police would continue to be out in force over the summer period, with operations targeting rule breaking.

“We have some of the most picturesque waterways in the country, which also means they see a significant increase in recreational activity during warmer months, meaning more boating incidents and water related injuries and fatalities,” he added.

“Large-scale operations like this are necessary during the warmer months to ensure the communities safety on our waterways by targeting dangerous and anti-social behaviour.”