Spotlight on night boating safety

10 April 2015

Boaters heading out on the water in NSW are on notice there will be an increased focus on safe boating at night during April.

Roads and Maritime Services would carry out Operation Safety at night from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 April to remind skippers of the importance of navigation lights and travelling at a safe speed after dark.

“Boating at night is a totally different experience to boating during daylight hours,” a Roads and Maritime spokesperson said.

“The best rule of thumb for boating at night is – go slow, be seen, keep a lookout and ensure your vessel is well lit.

“All vessels whether at anchor or under way, regardless of size and make, must carry and exhibit the correct lights.

“Navigation lights should be positioned so they are not obscured by people standing or seated in the vessel or by the structure of the vessel. Interference of deck lights is also not permitted.

“Since 2009, 688 formal warnings and 483 penalty notices and fines were issued in NSW for offences relating to navigation lights.

“At night, special caution is required in terms of navigation as many potential hazards may not be lit or may not be easily seen.

“Maintaining an appropriate speed according to the conditions and keeping a proper lookout are important while boating at all times, especially at night when hazards are difficult to see.”

The spokesperson said skippers should also be aware a zero tolerance approach applies to breaches of lifejacket law during the night boating safety education and compliance campaign.

“It is a requirement for anyone boating at night or boating alone at any time on a boat smaller than 4.8 metres to wear a lifejacket. Don’t be caught out.”

For more information on night boating safety, visit

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit: 8588 5999

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