Boaties around Airlie Beach will now have to abide by a new six knot speed limit.
Maritime Safety Queensland’s (MSQ) Kell Dillon says the reduction will improve safety for a wide range of users after receiving strong public support.
“The waters around Airlie Beach are busy and often congested with recreational and commercial craft of many kinds, including tourism and live-aboard vessels, as well as swimmers and passive craft,” Mr Dillon says.
“It has two popular marinas and many moored or anchored craft close by in Pioneer Bay.
“While a speed limit of six knots already applied in the two marinas and their lead entrances, there had been many minor collisions and near-miss incidents around the nearby mooring grids.
“MSQ had also received many complaints from owners of moored and anchored craft about motorised craft endangering their safety by passing too close at excessive speed.
“MSQ considered it was only a matter of time before a serious incident occurred.”
Mr Dillon says MSQ has conducted extensive public consultation over six months on options to improve safety.
“This outcome provides clarity for the local and visiting boating communities, was easier to enforce, and will reduce the potential for collisions between vessels and damage or injuries caused by vessel wash,” he says.
“MSQ estimates extending the six-knot speed limit into the mooring zones will mean, at most, four minutes of extra time.
“An extra four minutes, when weighed against the likely safety benefits, is a compromise any responsible skipper would support.”