Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Boat Ramp Safety – Is this you?


Activity at the local boat ramp was hectic, people pointing and talking, cars and on-lookers everywhere, but you still manage to find a place to park your car and boat trailer. You hope that it won’t be too long before you can use the ramp and get the boat onto the water.

“Looks like someone has caught a big shark or something”, a voice calls from the crowd. “No! its a stingray……its too wide to be a shark. I bet it belongs to that boat that has just come in”, yet another voice yells from the crowd.
As you approach the water’s edge you too can see a large white mass below the surface. “Gee, that is big! …I wonder what that guy has caught?” you think quietly to yourself. Your train of thought is interrupted by the sound of a large truck coming toward the boat ramp, as it approaches you can see that it’s a large tow truck. As the truck backs down toward the boat ramp you realise that its going to be a long wait before you can use this ramp.
Talk from within the crowd is now turning to unravel the mystery of the object under the water. “That’s not a shark nor a stingray, its a four wheel drive. That guy over there had backed it down the ramp to put his boat on the trailer and it took off backwards……and it knocked him down as it went into the water……he’s lucky to be alive!” a voice calls out.
As you watch, the tow truck operator hooks a wire rope to the object under the water and than starts to pull it out with his truck. Run your mouse over the picture to see what could have been avoided if some very simple rules had been observed by this boat owner regarding boat ramps.


  • Always check the boat ramp out before you attempt to use it
  • Never back down a ramp without checking on it’s condition first. Try to establish if it is a deep ramp or just a short one with a drop off at the end
  • If possible try to have someone help you put your boat into the water and take it out.
  • Always make sure that your hand brake is adjusted correctly and that your rear tyres are in good condition to enable grip on the ramp
  • Don’t be too proud to ask someone for a helping hand. It may save you a lot of expense and maybe a trip to the hospital if you have an accident trying to be a hero

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