Holiday boat boom brings reminder of lock safety


Holiday boat boom brings reminder of lock safety

Boat drivers, keen anglers and kayakers visiting the River Murray these school holidays are being reminded of the basics to safely navigate SA Water’s network of locks, ahead of an anticipated spike in River traffic.

Data shows December and January to be the busiest months for river vessels passing through the utility’s locks, with around fifty per cent of the year’s total lockage numbers recorded in these two months alone.

SA Water’s Senior Manager River Murray Operations Garry Fyfe said it’s a timely safety reminder for both experienced boat drivers and first-time navigators.

“The school holidays are always a bumper time for ski boats, dinghies, houseboats and other traffic using the river, and it is important for everyone to know how to safely pass through our concrete river structures for the benefit of themselves, the wider community, and our dedicated team of lockmasters,” Garry said.

“The first step for drivers is to maintain a distance of at least 500 metres from the lock itself before contacting our ‘lockies’ by either calling our team or sounding the vessel's horn three times consecutively.

“Our team then go about safely preparing the lock for passage, with the flashing red light atop the control box turning green to indicate it is safe for visitors to slowly and carefully enter the chamber.

"From there, it is important for drivers and other passengers to follow the clear Instructions of our experienced lockmasters to maintain a few safety basics while securing the vessel inside the chamber, while we raise or lower the water level as needed.

"We can then reopen the lock gates when safe to do so and send passengers safely on their travels down the mighty Murray.

"Safety is our main priority, and we thank everyone for helping to protect both themselves and our team by using our locks in a safe manner."

On behalf of the Murray Darling Basin Authority, SA Water manages Locks One to Six in South Australia as well as Lock Seven at Rufus River and Lock Eight at Wangumma in New South Wales, and Lock Nine at Kulnine in Victoria. The utility also operates barrages at Goolwa, Mundoo, Boundary Creek, Ewe Island and Tauwitchere.





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For all other SA Water-related enquiries, please call our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283).

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