Boaters reminded to plan ahead for Vivid: one of the busiest times on Sydney Harbour

21 May 2018

Those planning to head out on Sydney Harbour for Vivid are reminded to ensure they are up to speed with all of the aquatic controls in place for what is officially one of the city’s biggest and busiest special events.

“Vivid Sydney kicks off this Friday and there are some key safety controls which will be in place to help manage the influx of vessels,” Roads and Maritime Services Executive Director Angus Mitchell said.

“Viewing Vivid from the water is becoming very popular for both commercial and recreational vessels. With increased vessel activity during the event, safe navigation practices are paramount.”

"If you’re the skipper of a recreational vessel, regardless of the size, remember you need to give way to ferries. It is also crucial boating traffic during Vivid Sydney is not impeded near Sydney Cove and King Street Wharf.

“Skippers also need to be aware of the transit zone under the Sydney Harbour Bridge which extends from Kirribilli Point to Bennelong Point, and from Millers Point to Blues Point. There’s a 15 knot speed limit through this area and absolutely no stopping, anchoring or obstructing the passage of ferries and commercial vessels.”

Recreational vessels will not be permitted to enter the four knot zone south of a line drawn between the northern tip of Darling Island and the ‘roll on roll off knuckle’ north of the Barangaroo Ferry Terminal between 5:30pm and 11pm during Vivid.

“Keep an eye out for the lit signs on Darling Island and Barangaroo showing where the restrictions apply,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Vessels wishing to access the marina and other waterfront facilities in Pyrmont Bay between Darling Island and Sydney Casino Wharf may do so only with authorisation from a control vessel.

“Electronic message signs will be in place at Darling Island, Barangaroo and Dawes Point advising recreational vessels where they are not permitted to enter.

To facilitate on-water events, Cockle Bay will be closed to all vessels from 5:30pm-11pm for the duration of Vivid with the only exception being vessels with a Cockle Bay Marina booking.

“Skippers need to keep a proper lookout at all times while transiting through this area and should not be distracted by Vivid shows as there’s a heightened risk of collision.

"Skippers should make sure all their safety gear is on board, navigation lights are working and they avoid exclusion zones.

"Lighting checks and random breath testing will occur throughout Vivid Sydney. Boat skippers should stay under the 0.05 blood alcohol limit or face heavy fines, loss of licence, or even jail.

“It’s also essential for all skippers to observe important boating safety guidelines such as keeping a proper lookout and maintaining a safe speed.

"Unless it’s an emergency, boaters should never set off flares on the water – it’s illegal and dangerous.”

To view all the safe boating advice for Vivid Sydney 2018, including a map of key areas and restrictions, visit the RMS website's Maritime page.

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