Boaters reminded to steer clear of the ferries on Australia Day

25 January 2020

NSW Maritime is urging boaters to slow down, keep a proper lookout and be aware of exclusion zones during the Ferrython race on Sydney Harbour this Australia Day.

Acting Executive Director NSW Maritime, Alex Barrell said NSW Maritime understands it is tempting for boaters and spectators to want to “chase the race” but boating safety rules come first.

“There is a lot of excitement around the annual Ferrython on the harbour, but skippers need to keep clear of ferries, provide them with a clear path and stay outside of the exclusion zones,” Mr Barrell said.

“There will be moving exclusion zones when the ferry race starts at 10.45am at Farm Cove with the three ferries racing around Shark Island before finishing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 11.30am.

“Skippers are reminded to keep a distance of more than 50 metres from the bow, sides and stern of the three ferries.

“In previous years, officers have had issues with some skippers not keeping clear of the ferries, or speeding and creating wash.”

Mr Barrell said more than 2000 spectator vessels are expected to be on Sydney Harbour during Australia Day, with a number of exclusion zones in place for the various events and activities.

“The speed limit for spectator boats around exclusion zones will be six knots within 200 metres of the events,” he said.

“With the large number of vessels of all sizes on the water, skippers will need to remember to be patient, courteous and travel at a speed appropriate to conditions.

“A buoyed spectator area will be established in Jeffrey Bay near the Jeffrey Street Wharf to allow small vessels to anchor or drift so that spectators can watch the events.

“Skippers will also have permission to stop or drift within the Sydney Harbour Transit Zone between 11.45am and 12.20pm provided they remain outside active exclusion zones.”

The port of Sydney will be closed from 10.30am until 10.30pm and Cockle Bay will be closed to private craft between 10am and 11.30pm and closed to all vessels between 5pm and 11.30pm.

For boating information on Australia Day, please view the Sydney’s Summer Aquatic Events and the Australia Day website.

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