Marine Safety Update

Confusion On The Water

Over the past 18 months, SUP VIC worked with the Department of Transport and Transport Safety Victoria to usher in the new Marine Safety Regulations, which were brought in to effect on July 1st 2012. In short, we as stand-up paddlers, are exempt from wearing PFDs unless we venture more than 400 metres from shore (this does not include children under the age of 10 who are required to wear PFDs at all times when paddling on the water).

Very recently, one of our members was stopped by an enforcement officer on the Maribyrnong River without a PFD and threatened with a fine despite the fact that he was not required to wear a PFD on the river. It would appear the enforcement officer was not aware of the new regulations. I have clarified the regulations with Transport Safety Victoria, and their representative responded:
As you correctly state in your correspondence, regulation 100 (4) of the Marine Safety Regulations 2012 (Vic) provides an exemption for the operator of a SUP from the requirement to wear a PFD as long as the person is no more than 400 metres from the shore.  Without knowing where the enforcement officer was from, it’s difficult to take this further, but I can assure you that both Parks Victoria and the Victoria Water Police have been made aware of the new provisions in the Marine Safety Act.   I will contact both organisations to remind them of the new requirements, in particular, those that relate to SUPs. Please inform your members that they are exempt from PFD wearing so long as they are no more than 400 metres from shore.   Notwithstanding this requirement, in the interests of safety, TSV advises the operators of all watercraft to consider wearing a PFD at all times whilst on the water.   This is a message that I encourage you to convey to your members. 
I will leave that thought with you to make up your own minds, but if you should encounter an enforcement officer who insists you must wear a PFD by law, please ask the officer politely what department he or she is from and where he or she is stationed and then email us, and Club President, Paul Harrington, will follow up. For more information on safety, click here…

Mentone Paddle Fitness Group

SUP VIC Member, and fierce race competitor, Emma Morris, is starting up a new Stand-Up Paddle Fitness group in Mentone: WHEN: Wednesday Mornings 9:15 for 9:30 start. WHERE: Mentone Surf Life Saving Club, Mentone Beach (Naples Rd Car Park) Bring your board and paddle, if the wind in up a short wetsuit would be great. Technique tips and plenty of fitness training, on and off the water. Spread the word, all welcome. More Info call Emma Morris: 0425 784 877 check for updates and cancellations: https://www.facebook.com/standuppaddlevictoria
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RPS Black Rock BOP Race Report

The first ‘Official’ race of the 2012-13 season kicked off on Sunday 14th October with the RPS Black Rock BOP (Race 1) at Half Moon Bay. Over 40 paddlers of all levels turned up in Summer-like conditions for a great morning of racing, socialising and fun. FULL REPORT HERE