Night boaters in spotlight with operation 'Lights On'

8 March 2013

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Acting General Manager Boating Operations Scott Kidd today announced RMS will start a new education and compliance campaign tomorrow to ensure NSW boaters understand navigation light requirements.

“RMS Boating Safety Officers (BSO) across NSW will conduct extra night patrols as part of this campaign to ensure boaters are following legal requirements to be appropriately lit when boating at night,” Mr Kidd said.

“When night falls it is a completely different world on the water and vessels that operate from sunset to sunrise, whether at anchor or underway, must carry and exhibit the correct lights.

“A number of serious boating accidents which have happened at night have been attributed to inadequate or insufficient navigation lights.

“You wouldn’t drive fast on a dark road without headlights – the same applies on dark waterways – be bright.

“Not only do skippers need to display correct navigation lights when operating at night, they also need to ensure navigation lights are positioned and displayed appropriate to the vessel size and type.

“Your lights should be mounted in a position which gives you optimum night vision and allows others to see you from every direction.

“BSOs will also be ensuring all safety equipment, particularly lifejackets are on board for each person and that these can be easily accessed and are worn when required,” Mr Kidd said.

In 2012, 64 fines were issued to boaters for non-compliance with navigation light requirements. Almost half of these – 31 – were on Sydney Harbour.

The final day of the campaign is Friday 22 March.

For more information on navigation lights and boating safety go to

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