Australia renowned for its magnificent coastline, stunning inlets, bays, rivers, and lakes. Water sports form an integral part of the Australian way of life.
The following are some basic tips to help make your boating adventure, whether it be for an afternoon or a trip of many months, a safe and fun experience:
Before setting out on your voyage
Check that the vessel is seaworthy and properly maintained. Check the engine, sails, fuel level, etc. as applicable, check that the batteries are fully charged, and, that all the appropriate safety equipment is on board
Basic safe operation of vessel
Obey the water signage – 5 Knots maximum speed (9.26 km/h) when within 50 metres of fixed or floating structures and swimmers, plus within 100 metres of a diver or diver’s flag. This speed limit also applies when within 50 metres of the waters edge when inland, and, 200 metres when coastal
The passage of traffic on the waterways is opposite to the Australian road rules. Boats must be on the right side of the river, canal, channel, etc., and when two power boats approach head on, both vessels must alter course to starboard – so that they pass port-side to port-side of each other
Always be on the lookout for obstacles e.g. sand banks, rocky reefs, floating logs, tree stumps, etc. – dangerous looking ripples or dramatic changes in the look of the water surface, can indicate an obstacle below or a dangerous current, etc.
Alcohol and water vessels don’t mix. You must be at a blood alcohol level 0.00 whilst on your probationary licence (drivers licence) and read less than 0.05 on a full licence (make sure you do further research as this can vary between the different states of Australia)
When in an emergency
– Marine Radio 27MHz -Ch88 or VHF – Ch16
– Phone 000
– use a Flare when another vessel is in sight
– or a EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)
Minimum safety equipment that should be on board the vessel
Other necessary safety equipment (depending on your situation)
Disclaimer: This is just some information on some of the basic rules and regulations of boating. As the laws may be forever changing and vary in each state of Australia, the information shown above may outdated and / or irrelevant to you in your situation. We recommend further research on your state’s marine laws and safety regulations.
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