Marine Rescue Port Macquarie and NSW Police have issued separate warnings as activity on our waterways increases ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Marine Rescue Unit Commander Greg Davies is urging boaters to make safety their highest priority, while NSW Police are warning of an increase in false alerts due to emergency app settings.
Mr Davies said marine rescue volunteers want people to have a great time on the water but their priority is making sure they return safely.
"While it's been a busy start to the season, our volunteers are well prepared for an expected influx of boaters over what is traditionally the busiest week of the year," he said.
"It's more important than ever to make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket and that you log on with Marine Rescue NSW on VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue NSW app.
"This free service gives you peace of mind knowing our volunteers are watching out for your safe return and, if you don't log off as planned, they will start searching for you."
Mr Davies said many rescue missions could have been avoided if boaters had taken simple safety precautions.
Statewide, more than 40 per cent of rescues have been due to engine failure, 10 per cent due to a flat battery and nine per cent were because boats had run out of fuel.
Strong sea breezes and notorious southerly busters are also a concern, with many people misjudging conditions.
"Check weather and sea conditions before heading out and regularly throughout the day as conditions can change quickly. You can get up-to-date forecasts from your local Marine Rescue base by calling on VHF Channel 16 at any time or on the Marine Rescue NSW app."
Police meantime are encouraging people heading out on the water to check any device with an emergency alert feature.
Mobile phones and smart watches with automated crash detection have been responsible for several false activations.
These default features are designed to alert emergency services via Triple Zero when the device holder has been involved in a crash, in most cases by detecting the rapid deceleration of a motor vehicle.
Recent marine responses however, have highlighted that the device can be triggered when the wearer is on board a vessel travelling over choppy water or waves.
Marine Area Commander Superintendent Murray Reynolds, has urged people to be aware of the capabilities of their phones and smart watches before getting on the water.
"The feature is becoming increasingly prominent as people update their devices and I encourage the community to check their settings," Supt Reynolds said.
"It is just as important to know how to cancel an alert when an emergency response is not required."
"An unintentional activation of this feature when on the water can trigger an extensive response not only from Police, but also Marine Rescue and Surf Life Saving, utilising valuable resources and time."
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