Our waters deadliest in the state
THE waters off our region were the deadliest in the state last year with four of Queensland's 12 at-sea boating deaths.
The 2015 Marine Incident Report to State Parliament shows there were 57 accidents involving 73 vessels in 2015 in the Gladstone maritime area that also takes in Bundaberg, the Fraser Coast and Rockhampton.
Sixty-nine of the vessels involved in the area's accidents were Queensland regulated ships or boats and four were domestic commercial vessels.
As well as the four deaths, 16 people were injured, with three of those hurt admitted to hospital.
The most common accidents were collisions between ships, with 13 of these reported; swamping (seven); and groundings, of which there were eight incidents.
There were 12 deaths across the state - six more than in 2014.
Across Queensland there were 588 accidents, down 33 on the previous 12 months.
Three ship masters, two passengers and a swimmer died in accidents involving regulated ships.
Five of the victims were believed to have drowned. None was known to be wearing a lifejacket.
Domestic commercial vessel deaths included a passenger falling from a hired houseboat, the on-board death of a crew member on a tugboat and three divers lost from dive charter vessels.
Department of Transport director-general Neil Scales said the accidents were a reminder that anyone involved in boating had a duty of care to ensure their passengers and crews returned home safely.
"These deaths are private and personal tragedies for family, friends and co-workers, made worse by the possibility they may have been avoidable," Mr Scales wrote in the Marine Incident Report.
"Everyone who has an interest in working or playing on our unique and diverse waterways has a part to play in fostering a boating culture that places safety first and foremost."