5 Jan 2009

Boaties relying too much on cellphones - Coastguard

3:13 pm on 5 January 2009

The Coastguard Federation says boaties need to take better communication equipment with them on the water and stop relying on cellphones.

Chief executive Bruce Reid says there has been an 8% increase in boat trips this holiday period, compared with last year. There was an increase of almost 15% in call-outs during December.

Mr Reid says a lot of incidents could be avoided or attended faster if people ensured they had flares or a marine radio on board.

He says cellphone coverage at sea is unreliable and should be considered only as a back-up.