Surf boat rowing

Roads and Maritime Services has prepared in consultation with industry stakeholders codes of conduct to enhance marine safety and navigation by increasing the current minimum requirements for specific vessels.

This code of conduct outlines additional light requirements for surf boat rowing.

This Code became effective on 1 January 2013.

1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this code of conduct is to enhance safety in relation to surf boat craft being operated on New South Wales navigable waterways between sunset and sunrise.

2. Higher Standard of Lighting Requirements for Surf Boats

2.1. The minimal lighting requirements set out in Rule 25 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions At Sea are adopted in NSW through the Marine Safety (General) Regulation 2009.

2.2. Roads and Maritime Services require any vessel under oars, such as a surf boat, shall in restricted visibility and between sunset and sunrise, exhibit;
2.2.1. An all-round white light which displays an unbroken arc of 360 degrees and is visible in clear conditions from a distance of 1 kilometre

graphic of boat with bow light of 225 degrees arc and rear light with 135 degrees arc

2.2.2. A white light attached to the vessel at or near the forward end displaying an unbroken arc of 225 degrees, and a white light attached to the vessel at or near the aft end displaying an unbroken arc of 135 degrees.


2.2.3. Two all-round white lights, one attached to the vessel at or near the forward end, and one attached to the vessel at or near the aft end.

3. Compliance with this Code

3.1 Compliance with this code signifies a commitment by rowers to reduce the level of risk associated with operating a surf boat in restricted visibility and between sunset and sunrise.
3.2 RMS strongly recommends surf boats display the lights specified in Clause 2.2 of the code. Failure to comply with this code and RMS’ recommendation may be viewed by the Courts as evidence of poor seamanship or negligence.
3.3 Further instances of non-compliance with this code may result in the lighting requirements for surf boats specified in Clause 2.2 being enacted in legislation with penalties for non-compliance.

4. Responsibility of Rowers

4.1 RMS takes this opportunity to remind rowers to comply with the requirements set out in the Marine Safety (General) Regulation 2009 and all other Marine Legislation. However, there is a general common law obligation upon them to do more than the minimum should the minimum not be sufficient to eliminate the risk of injury or damage.

5. Amendments

5.1 RMS welcomes feedback on this code and any suggestions or proposals should be submitted to the General Manager Boating Operations, Roads and Maritime Services in the first instance.

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