Safe Boating Guidelines
Take time to familarise yourself with boating rules, local regulations and good seamanship practices. It could be the difference between a great day boating or, make the critical difference between a safe day and a tragedy.
Nine safe boating rules you should know
- Knowledge - know your boat, know the waterway you will be boating on. Make sure you are familiar with the local charts and locality.
- Keep a good lookout at all times - monitor commercial traffic movements on your marine radio and look out for yachts, kayaks and other passive craft.
- Always travel at a safe speed so that you can take avoiding action whatever the circumstances.
- Vessel safety check - ensure your boat and all engines are fully serviced. Carry an auxiliary motor.
- Carry at least two means of communication,one should be a VHF marine radio with channel 16, the universal distress frequency, check out the marine radio networks and keep your radio on at all times. Tell someone of your plans and anticipated time of return.
Lifejackets, the single most important safety equipment items for your vessel.Take them and wear them. When in the water wearing one will increase your survival time.
- Check the Weather - get the latest marine forecast before you leave. If it is doubtful, don't go! Take advice, contact your local boating club or an experienced Skipper you know. Crossing bars in any weather can be dangerous. The NSW RMS Bar Crossing Web Cam Trial is a great resource for checking bar conditions before setting out.
- If you are suddenly in an unfamiliar situation, remain calm, assess your position, identify the problem and call for assistance.The national telephone number for emergency services in Australia including AMBULANCE, FIRE, and POLICE is 000.
- If you plan to go boating more than two nautical miles from shore you must carry a Marine Radio, an EPIRP and two litres of water per person onboard. Prior to departing check that you are carrying the required safety equipment for your area of operation by going to your State Maritime Authority's website.
How 000 works
000 calls are answered by a Telstra Operator who will ask which service you require - Police, Water Police, Fire or Ambulance. The operator will ask relevant questions, and arrange an appropriate response. 000 calls are free on all mobile phones. From analogue phones, 000 will connect callers, although many newer digital phones require the user to dial 112, the international standard emergency number. Consult your carrier if you are uncertain how to access the 000 emergency network.
Using a marine radio
With a marine radio you can send a signal distress signal, request assistance,communicate with rescue groups, receive weather information, navigation warnings or local condition updates from port and maritime authorities. Learn more
Lifejackets are a legal requirement. You must carry a correctly sized, serviceable lifejacket for each person on board your vessel. They must be stored or placed to allow quick and easy access.