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logo of a lightglobe with yellow background and text Be bright at night

Boating at night - Be bright at night

Navigating at night requires special care and attention.  Vessels operating at night, whether at anchor or underway must carry and exhibit the correct lights.  It is crucial the lights on vessels are placed and displayed appropriate to the size and class of the vessel.

The objectives of this campaign are to conduct compliance checks of vessels throughout NSW to ensure:

  • correctly displayed navigation lights on vessels
  • safety equipment, in particular lifejackets, are on board, are in good condition and are readily accessible in the case of an emergency
  • skippers have the required licence and/or certificate of competency
  • vessels meet registration/survey requirements.

Useful links

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Boat suitability

Most boating fatalities involve typical family style recreational craft. So it's important you know the wind and wave limits of your boat and don't take chances in conditions you might not be able to handle.

Ensure your boat has built-in flotation. If you do capsize, stay with your craft and your chances of rescue are improved.

Click here for information on choosing the right type of boat.

Don't expire

As every responsible skipper knows, there are certain items in the safety equipment list that have an expiry date. Such dates are applied in a bid to ensure this equipment will work when needed, which can include life threatening circumstances.

Safety gear that carry expiry dates include: flares, emergency position indicating radio beacons and inflatable lifejackets.

View the Don't Expire safety brochure (pdf).

Don't let this safety equipment expire, set an alarm. There are some easy options to achieve this, such as:

  1. Put the dates in your diary
  2. Put the dates in your mobile phone
  3. Write it on the 'Don't Expire' sticker*
  4. Set up a Maritime Alert email**.

* For a 'Don't Expire' sticker please contact us.

** this Alert service online allows you to insert an alert for the due date for other business such as: mooring service, engine service, registration and licence renewals.

logo of a boat on a big wave with blue background and text Be safe going offshore

Going offshore

Going offshore or crossing a bar increases the demands on you and your boat's ability to meet the conditions. Every craft has its limits - so don't take chances.

Ensure the boat and gear are in good working order. Tell someone where you're going and when you'll return. And keep checking the weather.

To find out more on boating offshore, select one of the links below:

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logo of an eye with orange background and text Keep a proper lookout

Safe speed and keeping a proper lookout

Skippers who ignore speed restrictions or fail to alter their speed to changing conditions on the water or who fail to keep a proper lookout not only endanger their own lives and those of their passengers, they also jeopardise the safety of other boat users and people in the water.

Vessels operating at speed, including towing activities need to ensure that a proper lookout is kept for the safety of the person being towed as well as other boaters in the vicinity, mitigating the risk of a collision with another boat or person in the water.

Vessels speeding attracts a large number of complaints to Roads and Maritime Services in relation to boating activity on the state's waterways.

Skippers failing to keep a proper lookout is the primary cause of fatal incidents.

The aim of this speed, education and keeping a proper lookout compliance campaign is to alert and educate skippers to the dangers of speeding and not keeping a proper lookout and making them more aware of the impacts of their behaviour.

The focus of the speed, education and keeping a proper lookout campaign is:

  • Firstly, to improve the boating public's awareness of the dangers associated with speeding, and/or heightened risk boating activities such as towing wakeboarders, waterskiers and the like
  • To educate skippers that they are responsible for ensuring a proper lookout is being kept at all times
  • To monitor boater compliance to licensing, vessel registration and safety equipment (lifejacket requirements).

Media resources

Media Resources are free for use and publishing:

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