Thursday, 13 August 2015
Houseboating is an adventuring type of holiday. For many people there are a range of new experiences and this can be somewhat daunting for first timers. We have a number of safety measures in place to ensure your holiday is as stress free as possible, after all, cruising on the Tweed River can be a wonderfully relaxing experience! Here is a brief rundown on the safety procedures in place to ensure your holiday is 'smooth sailing' from the start.
Briefing and Driving Instructions
Before setting off on your houseboat adventure, we will run you through a compulsory induction which includes a detailed explanation on all aspects of the boat together with driving and navigation tutorials. Our Captains are highly experienced and as locals growing up in the Tweed, are very familiar with the area.
Our Captains pride themselves on ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible with all aspects of houseboating and are happy to spend the time with you as you gain confidence.
Customers are not permitted to dock the houseboats leaving this to our Captains – so this is one less task that you need to be concerned with.
24 Hour On Call Service
One of the main safety services we offer during your houseboat adventure is our 24hr on call phone. If at any time, day or night, you find yourself in trouble, you will have peace of mind knowing that help is only a phone call away.
One of our three main captains will assist you with any questions or advice during your time aboard the houseboats. This means you will have an experienced person on the end of the phone helping you through your problem. If you need physical assistance, the same person you spoke with on the phone, is the person that will come out to help you.
You will notice that our crew wear self inflating life vests. These jackets automatically inflate if the wearer happens to fall into the river. In a case where assistance is required out on the river after dark, our staff are not permitted to attend these call outs alone. We have a strict buddy policy to ensure the safety of our crew in a tricky situation.
Each houseboat is provided with a tender and oars. The majority of our tenders are Bushmans and are extremely stable. These are great for fishing in the shallower areas and ferrying between the houseboat and shore. Unfortunately, this brand of tender are no longer manufactured however we go to great lengths to find them.
We do advise against using the tenders after sunset as lights are not fitted.
Life vests, jackets and rings
Life jackets and life rings are compulsory items that are required aboard each vessel. We also include one life vest. In NSW, a person alone in a tender is required to where a life jacket. This is where the life vest comes in handy, as it allows you to feel more comfortable when operating the tender rather than needing to wear a bulky life jacket.
We also have a small selection of children sized life vests available for hire at the marina. It is compulsory for children under 12 years to wear a vest when riding in the tender. We recommend that you choose the size suitable for your children from our supply if your children don’t have one of their own.
Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors
All of our houseboats are fitted with fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke detectors.
A first aid kit is supplied aboard each houseboat.
We are in the process of installing tracking systems to our houseboats so that we know the exact location of each houseboat in case of an emergency. These systems will also notify us if a houseboat enters an 'out of bounds' area so we can then advise to move to a safer location.
It is no secret that here on the Tweed we get hit with the occasional storm. We monitor the local radars and river conditions to ensure safe travel for our customers and the safety of our houseboats. If the weather is too severe, we will not permit houseboats to leave the marina until it is safe to do so.
For more information please read through our Weather Policy.
Slip, slop, slap
We can offer you all the safety equipment and advice you could possibly need during your houseboat holiday but, unfortunately we don't offer a sunscreen application service. This is up to you! You will be in the sun for a great deal of your holiday so we can only suggest that you take care of yourself and your mates. Wear a hat, whack on some sunscreen and make sure you stay hydrated!
Don't drink and drive!
Just like driving a car, the law is the driver must be below 0.05 whilst at the wheel. Water police do patrol the area so if you are caught behind the wheel, expect a hefty fine! Once you are anchored up in a safe location you can kick back with a drink in hand and relax, we do however advise allocating one person in your group as designated driver in case of emergency.
Safety on the houseboats is our number one priority. Simply follow our guides and safety tips and you will be sure to have an enjoyable time exploring the Tweed River. For more information on general boating safety please visit NSW Maritime.