SPEEDING jet-skis and boats around the popular Noreuil Park area are causing concern for Murray River users.
Local residents worry speeding watercraft in the popular recreational area in Albury are jeopardising people’s safety as they take to the river for a swim or kayak.
Currently, boats, jet skis, and other motorised vessels are restricted to a speed limit of four knots in the area of Noreuil, Hovell Tree, and Mates Parks.
Resident Ruby Rowat is one local river user who appreciates watercrafts’ rights, but has seen boats and jet-skis travel too fast in speed-restricted areas of the Murray.
She says she is cautious when she swims in the river and wears a bright swimming cap after having some close encounters with speeding vessels.
“One evening I was just floating and a boat came charging up (by Noreuil Park) very fast and I saw that they didn’t see me,” Ms Rowat said.
“They saw me probably within 10 metres and slowed right down when they saw, but by then it would have been too late.”
Ms Rowat said she had had further encounters with speeding watercraft while supervising three children at a swimming spot near Mates Park, and also while taking them kayaking on the river.
“Maybe if there were signs with info, or an easy way – a boating or council website – for swimmers to report incidents.
“This may act as a deterrent enough for boaters, and if not it may show it’s not an isolated occurrence. “
Another local river user, Anthony Ball, told the NewsWeekly he had come across boats driving on the wrong side of the river while he was kayaking.
Murray River Canoe Hire operator David Breedon said non-local jet skiers tend to be more problematic for speeding in the waterways than boats.
“Most jet-skiers are very well behaved, but unfortunately Albury jet-skiers cop the flack when out-of-towners come in,” said Mr Breedon, who operates part of his business from Noreuil Park.
“We get a lot of complaints about jet-skiers, but they’re not locals.”
Mr Breedon has also witnessed a recent spike in the number of people utilising the Murray for swimming and recreational activities, particularly at Noreuil Park.
‘Since the removal of the boat ramp at Noreuil Park more people are visibly using it more down there, it’s also a bit of a correlation between the new bike path around Wonga Wetlands.”
Albury Wodonga News Weekly contacted Roads and Martime Services and questioned how regularly the service patrolled the Albury area and how they deter maritime speeding, but did not receive a response at the time of going to press.
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