Pittwater Life January 2018 Issue

pittwaterlife

A Day In The Life... Of Our Water Police. Making A Splash. King of the Road. 129 Things You Can Do.

ter) Line

Pittwater Life hitched a ride with the Broken Bay

Water Police to find out what goes down on a

summer Sunday. Words & photos by Matt Cleary.

NOT A BAD VIEW: Who said a desk job was boring? Through the window of the 'office' at Holmeport Marina at Church Point.

from Sydney Water Police,

thumps down and shoots up.

The sea cops ride it out; bums

perched on seats, anticipating

the bumps. For the journo it’s

like being in one of those spiralling

Russian space planes.

Cooksley half turns to me,

smiles.

“You get seasick?” he asks.

“Not yet,” I reply. “Give it

time.”

We round up the jetski

riders, four men in their 20s,

out for some rollicking water

action. Watt checks licences,

life jackets, and a “behaviour

label”. One fellow doesn’t have

one. He’s owned the craft a

week. There’s an impromptu

lesson in water safety and sealane

rules. There are breath

tests.

“Booze and water do not

mix,” says Cooksley. “And a

nice day out can turn into a

tragedy.” It’s not delivered as

tired cliché. It’s a statement of

fact – when people drink on

boats it’s dangerous.

Our run today is called

HVP – High Visibility Policing.

It’s more about PR than

arresting baddies. It’s not so

much about “busting” anyone,

though do a bad thing and

they will. It’s more: Hello,

citizens, the police are here

to help. Also: don’t do a bad

thing. Often their presence is

enough.

We pull up to a couple of

lads on a speedboat, fishing

for Jewfish in a bumpy, freeflowing

bit of water called

“The Rip”.

“Catchin’ any?” asks Watt.

One of the lads proudly

holds up a monster.

“Look at that! Where’d you

catch that?” asks Watt.

“Can’t tell ya,” says the

CHECKS PLEASE: Making sure everything is in order with a jetski crew.

man. “It’s a secret.”

We repeat the good cheer

with several other anglers. In

a typical conversation Watt

will ask: “Get any bites? Had

the boat long? Anything to

drink today? Beautiful day!

Can you read out your licence

number? How are your fire

extinguishers? That one looks

a bit rusty! You’ve got another

one? It’d pay to keep that one

handy, no? Ladies, tell me, do

you bait your own hooks?”

And so on.

We enjoy a takeaway coffee

at Killcare Wharf and talk of

“good busts”. Recently a boat

stolen on the Pittwater turned

up near Hamilton Island. Another

fellow was stealing batteries,

hundreds of them. The

team built a case and arrested

the man, found his garage full

of them. On Christmas Day in

2016, at little Parsley Bay near

Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury

River, police intercepted a

boat carrying 500 kilograms

Continued on page 16

News

The Local Voice Since 1991

JANUARY 2018 15

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