AHOY: Police crack down on law-flouting boaties
JET SKI users who have taken to the water without obtaining a proper licence first have been slapped with hefty fines upward of $500.
An operation during the silly season has revealed safety and licence breaches were rife at Somerset Dam, but nobody was found to be affected by drugs or alcohol while at the helm.
Officers from the Ipswich Road Policing Unit joined forces with rangers and compliance officers from South East Queensland Water to crack down on safety breaches at Lake Somerset.
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They targeted the area between Christmas Day and New Year's Day and spoke with recreational boat and jet ski users.
While ensuring everyone was licenced, had paid for registration, and complied with safety regulations, officers checked in with the captains of 74 vessels.
Police found four jet ski users were unlicensed, landing those behind the wheel $533 fines.
Owners of jet skis used by unlicensed operators were fined $266 for allowing the offence to occur.
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Police said numerous boat passengers were caught flouting the law due to their lack of sufficient safety equipment.
Those travelling without enough life jackets to accommodate all passengers on board were slapped with $266 fines.
A Seqwater spokeswoman said there had been an increase in visitor numbers at the lake during 2020, compared to the year before.
"More than 1,000 additional people visited the Somerset Park Day Use area, while an extra 15,000 people visited The Spit," the spokeswoman said.
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.