Reckless boating endangers lives

Lawlessness on the Hartbeespoort Dam has become a big problem. During an incident last weekend a canoe carrying a young man capsized as the result of reckless behaviour of a powerboat skipper.

According to Mercia Badenhorst, her son was on a canoe when a powerboat speeded around him, capsizing the canoe after which the boat sped away. The young man ended up under the canoe and in the process lost his car keys and fishing gear.

“We really have a big problem with lawlessness on the dam,” Arthur Crew of the Hartbeespoort Dam NSRI says. “We see a lot of reckless driving, boaters ignoring the boating rules, and even boats on the dam after dark.

Reckless behaviour on the dam can be reported to The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) on 012 366 2600 by providing the boat’s registration number.

Here are some of the rules boaters are required to adhere to:

  • All boats must display the vessel’s registration number on the hull.
  • No boating is allowed between the times half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise the next day (Without special permission).
  • No boat shall exceed the safe speed limit for that type of boat.
  • No boat shall be driven in a reckless or irresponsible manner.
  • No person under the age of 16 may be in control of a motor boat.
  • All skippers of motorboats with more than 15 HP must be in possession of a Certificate of Competency (COC)
  • All skippers of yachts more than 9 meters must be in possession of a Certificate of Competency (COC) – skipper’s ticket.
  • All powerboats with more than 15HP are to be in possession of a certificate of fitness and a buoyancy certificate.
  • All yachts of more than 9m must be in possession of a certificate of fitness.
  • All craft are to have the required Category R safety equipment on board and such equipment must be marked with the craft’s registration number.
  • Skippers of all craft to sign out in the boat register at the Galley / jetty/slipway of the club prior to going on the water. All skippers shall sign in once they have returned to the shore
  • All craft must have flotation built in to the boat.
  • No person shall be in control of a boat while under the influence of alcohol or any form of narcotics.
  • There must be a life jacket for each person on board a boat when the boat is in use.
  • All motorboats must be fitted with efficient silencers.