A jetski rider was busted by lifesavers and water police when they operated recklessly in an exclusion zone on Mooloolaba main beach.
A jetski rider was busted by lifesavers and water police when they operated recklessly in an exclusion zone on Mooloolaba main beach. Patrick Woods

Jet skier busted, boaties warned amidst police crackdown

FORGET about sneaking a few beverages and casting a line on the Coast waters, police are out in force targeting speedsters and those under the influence of alcohol.

Sunshine Coast Water Police Senior Constable Murray Lyons said whether you're captaining a 50-foot yacht, riding a jet ski or in control of a kayak, the same liquor laws applied on the water as on the road.

"(A passive vessel) is the same as a push bike or a horse or bicycle," he said.

"Over 0.05BAC and taking a kayak offshore is only going to end up in disaster... it's common for people to over-indulge on the drinks, we're asking people to be mindful of that."

Snr Const Lyons said between Boxing Day and Australia Day "all the toys come out" and week days started to resemble a busy weekend.

This was the case at Mooloolaba main beach yesterday, when a jet skier was busted riding dangerously close to loads of swimmers in the bathing reserve, an area vessels are not permitted.

Jetski rider
Police and lifesavers are working together to make the water safe for all over the school holidays. Patrick Woods

Surf Lifesaving Queensland services coordinator Jacob Thomson said lifesavers had warned the interstate visitor to leave, but when he continued to operate recklessly Water Police caught up with him at the boat ramp. The man was dealt with and apologised for his behaviour.

Mr Thomson said people don't often intentionally cause trouble, but when jet skis operated and boats towed or anchored in the reserve it created a "recipe for disaster".

As of 3.30pm yesterday, lifesavers had rescued 12 people in Coast waters, including four people aged under 10, three of which were at Dicky Beach.

Two 17 year olds were pulled from Bulcock Beach, two 30-year-olds were rescued at Currimundi and a 25-year-old man was saved 200m north of the patrol area at Alexandra Headland about 3.12pm.

Jetski rider
A jetski rider was busted riding dangerously close to swimmers at Mooloolaba main beach. Patrick Woods

With so many people in the water, both authorities stressed the importance of doing the right thing.

But a blatant disregard for the law was apparent early yesterday as Snr Const Lyons told the Daily he had already warned one boatie about his speeding that morning.

The same man then sped past him, ignoring the six-knot speed limit in the Mooloolah River, downstream of the McKenzie and Sunshine Motorway bridges.

Should there be harsher penalties for bad behaviour on the beach?

This poll ended on 27 January 2019.

Current Results

Yes.

70%

No, let them have fun.

5%

If they're putting people in danger.

23%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

In the Minyama canal, the speed drops to four knots.

Police are checking licence, registration and safety equipment which, if out of date, could cop a $261 marine infringement notice.

Snr Const Lyons urged people to check the expiry on flares and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) before they set off on the water.

Snr Const Lyons said there were four officers in the Sunshine Coast Water Police unit, and two would be on patrol each day between the Christmas and new year period.

The Traffic Policing Unit reported a quiet Christmas period on the roads, and officers would target the fatal five through the new year period; drink driving and drug driving, fatigue, inattention, seat belt use and speeding.