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Stay safe on the water this long weekend

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

4 March 2021

Boaters are reminded to check their vessels and safety equipment before heading out on the water this March long weekend.

Marine Safety Officers will be out on patrol across the state this long weekend checking vessels and safety equipment while answering boating safety questions. The busy holiday locations of the Yorke Peninsula, South Coast and Port Lincoln will be a particular focus for the officers.

“We know many South Australians can’t wait to get away for a mini break over the March long weekend, but we encourage all boaters to remember their safety responsibilities,” Department for Infrastructure and Transport Manager for Maritime Safety Gordon Panton said.

“Remember, if your boat is 4.8m or less in length, lifejackets are compulsory for everyone on board.

“Even if your boat is larger than this (4.8m to 12m or less in length), lifejackets need to be worn by children 12 and under. While at times of heightened risk everyone on board must wear one."

Heightened risk conditions include boating alone, boating once the sun has set, crossing an ocean bar including the Murray mouth, boating during storms and gale force winds and at times where there is restricted visibility.

“Wearing a lifejacket will help your chances of survival if accidentally knocked overboard,” Mr Panton said.

“We hope all boaters have a safe and enjoyable long weekend on our beautiful coastline.”

Remember to live safe boating this long weekend by following these seven safety tips:

  • Pack it – know the equipment you need to take and when it expires
    You must carry safety equipment suitable for your vessel size and where you are going. Make sure it’s also in good condition, readily accessible and protected from water and weather.

    Some equipment, like flares, will expire, so make sure you know when replacements are required.
  • Plan it – where are you boating?
    Do some research on the area you are visiting before you head out on the water.

    Are you likely to come across any hazards, other vessels or larger ships? Do you know the speed restrictions? Should you expect any wildlife or other people/residents that you need to be considerate of? Don’t forget to let someone know where you are going before you head out and when you plan to return.
  • Know it – know the limits of your vessel
    Make sure your boat is seaworthy and appropriate for the chosen activity.
  • Service it – is your boat ready to go on water?
    Boats need regular maintenance and safety checks before heading out on the water. Boat ramps will be busy this long weekend so make sure your boat is ready to go before launching it.
  • Check it – what is the weather forecast for the day?
    For the most accurate and up to date weather information visit www.bom.gov.au/marine.

    Check regularly during your trip as weather can change quickly.
  • Learn it – do you know the rules?
    Share the water safely with all users. Know the rules of navigation, check speed restrictions and whether there are any restricted areas before heading out and follow the rules on the water.

For more information about boating safety visit www.ondeck.sa.gov.au