You're the skipper – you're responsible

The 'You're the skipper – you're responsible' campaign is designed to encourage all recreational operators to take responsibility for their actions on the water.

Boat operators, or skippers, are responsible for the safety of their vessel and the people on board.

Often, a lack of judgment, alcohol and excessive speed are the biggest contributing factors in reported boating incidents across the state.

Roads and Maritime Services aims to help reduce boating incidents by raising the awareness of boat skippers.

Skippers need to be constantly aware of their responsibilities on the waterways, continually observing maritime regulations and safety requirements.

The NSW Government will use the new campaign as an educational tool online, it will be promoted through the Boating Safety Course and incorporated in radio and television advertising for the coming boating season.

The message will also be mailed to 200,000 people through the boat registration renewal process.

You’re the skipper – you’re responsible when it comes to assisting other vessels in need

Australia has signed up to a number of international treaties including the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) which requires that the master of a vessel at sea must provide assistance to a stricken vessel when they receive a distress signal. Additionally, Section 265 of the Commonwealth Navigation Act 1912 requires a master to assist a stricken vessel on any tidal waters. Section 98 of the Marine Safety Act 1998 requires the master of a vessel involved in a marine incident to give assistance to any injured person or damaged vessel involved in the incident.

However when responding in any such emergency, the master is required to ensure they do not place themselves, their passengers or own vessel in danger. Also be aware that the Civil Liability Act 2002 provides protection against liability for “good samaritans” in emergency situations.

Depending on the situation, providing assistance in an emergency may simply mean calling 000 or the local Marine Rescue NSW unit and/or staying with the vessel or person until professional assistance arrives.

Don’t forget, you could be the one who requires help next time!

The Boating handbook (pdf) provides more information on emergencies and radio communications.

View the You're the skipper – you're responsible safety brochure (pdf).

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