Go slow for those below

Issued: 21 December 2020

With summer in full swing and plenty of boaties taking advantage of our waterways, it’s a timely reminder to ‘go slow for those below’.

While the festive season is the perfect time to be on the water, boaties also need to be conscious of what’s happening below the surface.

There is a range of marine life co-existing under the water, and if you go too fast, you’ll potentially endanger the lives of native animals such as turtles and dugongs.

We’re asking boaties to familiarise themselves with and follow the ‘planning’ limits and to go slow for those below.

A boat’s propeller can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries to a turtle or dugong.

QPWS Rangers are expecting to see an increased amount of traffic on our waterways over the Christmas holidays and are urging boaties to reduce their speed in estuaries, sandy straits, shallow inshore areas and reef flats, and to avoid shallow seagrass meadows if possible.

Skippers travelling through ‘go slow’ areas must operate their boats ‘off the plane’, and must not operate boats in a manner or at a speed that would reasonably be expected to result in striking a turtle or dugong.

Turtles and dugongs are most at risk of being injured or killed when they come to the surface for air.

QPWS rangers regularly patrol Go Slow areas and boaties doing the wrong thing in a Go Slow area can receive an on-the-spot fine of $533.

Anyone who comes across injured, stranded or dead marine wildlife should report it by calling 1300 130 372.

There are designated Go Slow areas in some marine parks – details are in the marine parks visitor guides and zoning plans on the DES website https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/coasts-waterways/marine-parks.

Examples of permanent go-slow areas include Double Island Point in Great Sandy Marine Park, and Amity Banks in Moreton Bay Marine Park.