Blitz on boaties nets safety fines
BOBBING on the water, a tinny beneath and a rod in hand is a typical Leslie Dam scenario, but some boaties were surprised to be breathalysed as the Water Police shared the waves during the Easter weekend.
Fisherman Ian Brown has family on the Southern Downs and has thrown a line in at Leslie Dam for the past two decades but had never before been asked for a breath specimen while hauling a crab-pot laden with bait shrimp.
“I’ve been fishing here for 20 years, coming up from Toowoomba and celebrating Easter, Christmas and the odd weekend but never been breathalysed (on the water),” Mr Brown said.
“I saw them just doing their job, like checking life-jackets and breathalysing people. I asked to keep the tube as a souvenir (after being breathalysed) and they let me – they (the officers) were nice.”
The jovial Mr Brown said he loved to have a “beer or three” but understood the importance of safe boating and was happy to see the new official faces on the water.
“We’ll be here about 10 days and we’ve caught a mixed bag of 25 fish since Thursday,” he said. “It was good to see them, because some buggers go past anchored boats way too close, but the police being here calmed everyone down.”
A Warwick Police spokeswoman confirmed two Water Police officers from Brisbane as well as a Warwick Police officer issued 15 marine infringement notices during the Leslie Dam sting yesterday and on Sunday.
“We pretty much stopped everyone we saw on the water and the infringement notices were for various safety matters such as life vests and over-loading,” she said.
“During the two days we breath-tested about 50 people but no-one was issued with an infringement notice. The water’s like the road, with the limit being 0.05 per cent.
“People were a little surprised to see us out there, but the Leslie Dam operation went well and we were pleased with the good behaviour.”
Washpool Camping Reserve manager Peter Guy said it was “great” to have the Water Police on site.
“They issued a few fines and gave some people a good talking to,” Mr Guy said.
“Some people don’t know (water) rules, so it was good to have them here.”