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Marine Safety South Australia – October 2023

Take care of your wake and wash on the River Murray

If you are heading out to the River Murray, it’s important that you share the river safely with everyone on the water and reduce your wake and wash.

Some simple things you can do to reduce your wake and wash include:

  • finding a location that is away from moored vessels and people in the water
  • slowing down to 4 knots when you are within 30 metres of other vessels
  • always keeping a look out for anyone in the water
  • slowing down to 4 knots when you are within 50 metres of any person in the water whether they are swimming, paddling or on unpowered watercraft like canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.

Marine Safety Officers out and about

Marine Safety Officers have been active across Yorke Peninsula this month, engaging with boaters at Ardrossan, Port Victoria, Port Vincent, Stansbury, Edithburgh, Point Turton, Port Hughes and Wallaroo.

60 vessel inspections were carried out and 74% of boats had all the required safety gear on board.

10 stop launches, which stops a vessel from launching into the water if the operator doesn’t have all the required safety gear on board, and one expiation was issued during the inspections.

The Marine Safety SA team has also been busy checking vessels further north in Port Augusta which has become a hotspot for eager boaters chasing spawning kingfish.

With the boating season ramping up, it’s important that everyone has their safety equipment on board before heading out. Don’t ruin your day on the water by failing to prepare – use the safety equipment checker tool to make sure you have everything you need before your next trip.

Snapper bag limit increased in the South East

In good news for anglers, snapper catch limits have increased for recreational (non-charter) fishers in the South East Fishery Zone.

For individuals, the limit has increase from one snapper per person per day to two snapper per person per day.

For boats where three or more persons are on board, the limit is six snapper per boat.

Charter boat fishing trip limits remain the same, with daily bag and boat limits specified by the regulations.

Visit the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) website to learn more about the daily bag limits for individual recreational snapper fishing and limits for boats.

Anglers are also reminded that the mandatory reporting requirements for catching snapper have changed. Visit the PIRSA website for more information and to report your catch.

Don’t forget the West Coast, Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent/Kangaroo Island Fishing Zones are closed to snapper fishing until 30 June 2026.

Do I need to register my vessel?

All recreational vessels that are fitted with an engine are required to be registered while operating in South Australian waters.

You do not need to register a canoe or kayak, fitted with an electric motor, that produces less than 150 newtons (or 34lp of thrust).

If you meet the requirements to register your vessel you can register online.

Does your lifejacket meet the Australian Standard?

Recent Marine Safety and Compliance checks on vessels have shown that some people are using lifejackets purchased online or overseas that don’t meet the Australian Standards for recreational boating.

If you are buying a lifejacket online or second hand, please make sure you check that it has the current Australian Standard – AS 4758 printed on it. Everyone on board should have a life jacket that meets the Australian standard otherwise you could be putting your life at risk.

Please remember that lifejackets that are sold for swimming or use in pools do not meet the Australian standard for use on motorised vessels and unpowered watercraft and should not be used.

There are some older Australian standard lifejackets that can be used until 31 December 2024. These lifejackets will generally be more than 20 years old and can no longer be sold.

If you are still using an AS 1512, AS 1499 or AS 2260 lifejacket you will not be able to use these lifejackets from 1 January 2025.

Don’t forget to service inflatable lifejackets in line with manufacturer’s instructions (generally once a year). Visit the Marine Safety SA website to learn more about Australian Standards for lifejackets.

Know when to wear your lifejacket

Knowing what lifejacket to wear and when is essential to keeping you safe on the water.

The Marine Safety SA website has everything you need to know about lifejacket safety including, how to check if your lifejacket fits, carrying and wearing your lifejacket, keeping your lifejacket in good condition, and fitting a child with a lifejacket.

The lifejacket tool will also help you pick the right lifejacket to keep you safe when out on the water.