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News from Marine Safety South Australia – December 2023

Stay safe on the water this festive season

A new officer has joined the Marine Safety SA team this festive season, Skipper the Elf.

Skipper has been out on the water with our Marine Safety SA team helping boaters get ready for the boating season. Keep an eye out for him on our Marine Safety SA vessels or follow the Marine Safety SA Facebook page for boating safety tips from Skip during the festive season.

With the festive season fast approaching and school holidays also starting, it’s important to remember that this is a busy time for our coastal and river waters and speed restrictions must be observed.

When on the water, remember keep to 4 knots or under (equivalent to a fast-walking pace) within 50 metres of:

  • a person in the water
  • a person in or on a canoe, kayak, surf-ski, surfboard, sailboard, or similar small unpowered recreational vessel.

Be mindful of the impact that your wash may have on other vessels, whether underway or moored, and keep to 4 knots within 30 metres of any vessel that could be impacted.

The following 4 knot speed limits also apply within:

  • 100 metres of a ferry crossing on the River Murray
  • a mooring area or boat haven
  • 30 metres of a jetty, wharf or places at which a boat is being launched or retrieved.

Penalties apply if controls or speed restrictions are not observed.

Where there is no signed speed limit, skippers must ensure their vessels are travelling at a safe speed to allow time to stop or turn to avoid sudden danger.

Watch our video to refresh your knowledge about speed limits and make sure you are contributing to keeping our waters safe and enjoyable for everyone.

SA Recreational Boating Safety Strategy consultation closing soon

Don’t miss your chance to have your say on the development of the SA Recreational Boating Safety Strategy before the survey closes on Friday, 5 January 2024.

Visit the SA Recreational Boating Safety Strategy website to learn more and to complete the survey for your chance to win one of 8 lifejackets. See here for competition terms and conditions.

Survey responses will help unearth issues and contribute to solutions that enhance safety across our coastline and waterways. The more input we get, the better equipped we’ll be to create positive change.

Marine Safety SA Stickers available now

Marine Safety SA stickers are now available to help boaters access the information they need on board quickly and easily.

There are six stickers available – from safety equipment checklists to quick links to Marine Safety SA online tools:

  • Safety equipment checklist – recreational vessels under 8 metres
  • Safety equipment checklist – recreational vessels over 8 metres
  • QR code to the online safety equipment checking tool
  • QR code to the online which lifejacket do you need tool
  • QR code to the online report an incident or hazard tool
  • QR code to the Marine Safety SA Facebook page

To order your free stickers email the Marine Safety SA team at . Please include details on the stickers you would like to order and your postal address.

Digital message boards help remind boaters to be safe

Have you seen one of our digital message boards at boat ramps across the state?

We have four boards that allow us to show boating safety messages and updates and move these to different locations across the state.

Signs are currently located in the Riverland, metro coast and Yorke Peninsula.

Each board has a QR code which you can scan to visit the Marine Safety SA website for more boating safety information.

Marine Safety Officers checking boats across the State

Marine Safety Officers continue to visit boat ramps and coastal and river waters across the State to check that people are operating their boats safely and carrying all the right safety equipment.

Many boaters continue to operate vessels while not wearing or carrying lifejackets, not carrying flares or carrying expired flares, missing one to two required items of safety equipment, and speeding. 66% of vessels checked in the last 12 months were 100% compliant, which is a 3% improvement compared to last year.

Before heading out on the water remember to:

If you are operating a recreational vessel fitted with an engine, you must also hold a hold a current boat operator’s licence.

Upgraded O’Sullivan Beach boat ramp re-opens

The upgraded O’Sullivan Beach boat ramp re-opened to the public earlier this month, just in time for school holidays and the festive season.

You can get a live view of the upgraded boat ramp via our dedicated Marine Safety SA webcam page.

Upgrades include:

  • the replacement of original pontoons and the installation of a new L-shaped pontoon, increasing boat launching capacity and capabilities
  • construction of an extra lane
  • improvements to the concrete ramps that lead down to the water
  • improvements to the pedestrian pavement area
  • a wider manoeuvring area for vehicles
  • installation of northern and southern rock walls
  • new line marking
  • installation of signage at launch and washdown areas to better assist boaters.

The City of Onkaparinga has introduced a new mobile application, PayStay, for boat ramp permits. The app allows patrons to purchase permits from the convenience of their phone, anytime, anywhere.