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Urgent warning following tragic year on local waterways

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2021 is being described as a tragic year on the state's waters.

According to Maritime Safety Queensland's (MSQ) annual report, failure to wear a lifejacket is thought to have contributed to 70 per cent of deaths.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says any death is one too many.

"A total of 13 deaths were reported on water last year, with failure to wear a lifejacket a contributing factor in nine of those," Mr Bailey says.

"That's nine people who had a primary means of survival available but for some reason did not wear it.

"It's a stark reminder to boaties it's not enough to simply stow lifejackets onboard - you need to be wearing them in case you go overboard unexpectedly."

The 13 lives lost in 2021 was four fewer than in 2020 but remained higher than the average for the previous 10 years (9.5).

Last year the Townsville maritime region received 36 incident reports involving 53 vessels.

Six people were injured, including two fatalities and two hospital admissions.

Mr Bailey says MSQ would redouble its efforts to educate boaties and enforce boating regulations.

"We’ll be cracking down on compliance through on water patrols right across the state's coastline," he says.

"Increasingly, they will be using new boats capable of making intercepts at high speed if necessary.

“The maritime enforcement team has already completed more than 6000 intercepts and compliance checks since its inception in 2019 and I look forward to this continuing for the safety of Queensland’s boaties."

Image: Transport and Main Roads Queensland