Reminder to be cautious near blind corners

24 July 2014

Roads and Maritime Services is reminding boaters to exercise caution at blind corners after the master of a Sydney Harbour water taxi was placed on a good behaviour bond in the Downing Centre Local Court this week.

Roads and Maritime Director of Maritime Angus Mitchell said the master failed to keep to the right hand side of the channel and to navigate with caution near a blind corner which led to a collision with another water taxi on 12 April last year.

The collision happened in Woolloomooloo Bay and resulted in three people being injured, two seriously.

"The master of the water taxi had just dropped off eight passengers at the Woolloomooloo Bay wharf when the collision occurred,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Roads and Maritime Services as the state boating regulator told the court one of the most basic tenets of safe boating – keeping to the right hand side of the channel – had not been followed.”

While both charges were proven, no conviction was recorded against the 64 year old master due to previous good behaviour, including no prior breaches of maritime legislation.

The Narrow Channel Rule requires the operator of a vessel in a narrow channel or fairway to remain as close to the starboard side as is safe and practicable. The same rule requires the vessel to be navigated with alertness and caution when approaching an area of a narrow channel such as a headland, which may obscure oncoming traffic.

“Every bay is potentially a channel and must be navigated with caution and attention, especially when approaching areas of obscured vision.”

Mr Mitchell asked skippers and masters to familiarise themselves with rules relating to navigating narrow channels.

“Channels may be considered narrow depending on the size of the vessels in the channel, so navigation should always be done cautiously," Mr Mitchell said.

For information on safe boating, go to

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit 8588 5999

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