URGENT efforts are under way to contact more than 40 new boat owners to warn them they may be in danger if they take the vessels out on the water this summer.
Maritime Safety Queensland Acting General Manager Capt Glenn Hale said Maritime Safety Queensland officers had discovered the boats, sold by Queensland company Scariff Boats, had the wrong, or were missing information on the Australian Builders Plate about the number of passengers they could safely carry.
“Thankfully marine officers raised the alarm while carrying out a random inspection of the new imported boats at a major boat show earlier this year,” Capt Hale said. “They found the Australian Builders Plates, which are required by law to be attached to vessels, in some cases allowed for more than twice the normal maximum loading weight for boats of that size. This could easily give owners the wrong impression they were able to carry considerably more people on board than was safely allowed with potentially disastrous consequences.
“Maritime Safety Queensland has entered into a formal undertaking with Scarrif Boats requiring them to make every effort to contact the boat owners and let them know their Builders Plates are incorrect and must be changed via recall. This is an extremely serious oversight and Maritime Safety Queensland has made it clear to the company that failure to correct this issue could lead to legal action. They will also require Scariff Boats to implement a quality assurance system to ensure all current and future imported boats offered for sale comply with the ABP requirements.
“Anyone owning a Scariff boat should get in touch with the company to arrange a review of their boat and its ABP. Maritime Safety Queensland is also undertaking a wider review of vessel manufacturers and sellers to ensure no similar breaches are occurring in the industry. This is also a timely reminder to all boaties to know your loading limits, how many people and how much equipment, Eskies and tackle boxes your boat can carry.
“If you modify your boat, you may inadvertently have changed it enough to require your ABP to be reviewed. Electric outboards and the additional batteries are common items that will affect a boat’s loading limits and stability.”
Anyone with concerns about a Scariff boat should contact the company at email@example.com or call 0410 651 000 or 07 3556 3480.