Speeding and “irregular operation” of watercraft made up about half the 66 infringement notices issued during a combined police operation on the southern end of Port Phillip over the Australia Day long weekend.
Officers from the Mornington Peninsula Police Service Area as well as the Water Police Squad conducted the three-day Operation Unity across the foreshore precincts, focusing on water safety, marine compliance and public order. The operation, which came after several weeks of increased serious marine-related incidents from Mount Martha to Portsea, was supported by other government and volunteer agencies.
Over the course of the operation, 588 offences were detected on the water and foreshore precinct, with 66 infringement notices issued to personal watercraft and boat operators – about half of which related to speeding or irregular operation within 5 knot zones.
“The fact that we had no marine-related injuries or collisions between vessels over the course of the three days means that it was a successful operation,” said Acting Sergeant Flyn Loughlin, of Rosebud police. “I think that’s attributable to the fact that there was a highly visible presence of police on the water, particularly down the southern end of Port Phillip and right across our Peninsula foreshore precincts. We also had a highly visible police presence on land right across our foreshore precincts.
“We won’t tolerate poor behaviour that jeopardises the safety of other water users,” Sgt Loughlin said.”