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News from Marine Safety South Australia – January 2024

Long weekend boating

Australia Day is just a few days away, with many boaters heading out to make the most of the long weekend and the end of the school holidays.

The Marine Safety Officers will be out across the state visiting the River Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Goolwa and the metro coast to check that people are operating their boats safely and carrying all the right safety equipment. Make sure you share the water safely with unpowered vessels, such as kayaks and paddleboards, and people swimming in the water.

Before heading out make sure your lifejacket has been serviced. Now is a good time to check that your lifejacket meets the current standard AS 4758. From 1 January 2025 lifejackets that meet older Australian Standards AS 1512, AS 1499 and AS 2260 will no longer be acceptable in South Australia.

For anyone boating on the metro coastline, a Masters Swimming event will be held between Grange and Henley jetties from 10 am and 1 pm on Friday 26 January 2024. Stay clear if planning to boat in this area and keep to 4 knots if operating within 50 metres of anyone swimming or on an unpowered paddle craft such as a canoe, kayak or paddleboard.

Development of the SA Recreational Boating Safety Strategy underway

Thank you to everyone who took the time to have their say and provide feedback via the SA Recreational Boating Safety Strategy online survey – Marine Safety SA received more than 1,600 survey responses. The survey closed in early January after a two-month consultation period. Marine Safety SA will now work on developing a draft strategy. The draft strategy will be shared on the Marine Safety SA website and community and stakeholders will be invited to provide their feedback via YourSAy.

Marine Safety SA Stickers still available

Have you ever witnessed an incident or hazard on the water and thought, “I wish I could report this right now”?

Well now you can with the new Report Incidents or Hazards sticker. All you need to do is follow the QR code to the quick online reporting tool, which will allow you to report a marine safety concern and upload photos and videos.

Last month, the Marine Safety team launched six safety stickers and so far Marine Safety SA have had a fantastic response from South Australian boaters.

These stickers help provide quick and easy access to safety equipment checklists and Marine Safety SA online tools so boaters can access the information they need when they are on the water.

The following stickers are available:

  • 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

The following stickers are coming soon:

  • Buoys, marks and beacons
  • VHF marine radio channels
  • 27 MHz marine radio channels
  • Phonetic alphabet for marine radio

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

Reminder to use the navigational pass at Paringa Bridge

Next time you on the water in a powered vessel at Renmark, remember to use the navigational pass at Paringa Bridge.

Many people operating ski boats or jet skis are often travelling near or under the Paringa Bridge. When passing under the bridge in a powered vessel, it’s important that you use the navigation pass which is the marked channel under the bridge.

When using the navigation pass, you must operate safely and slow down. It is an offence to travel outside of the navigation pass under the bridge, unless directed by the bridge operator. Marine Safety Officers are out monitoring the area to check that operators are doing the right thing. Don’t risk a fine.

If you are enjoying the river, remember to keep to 4 knots within 30 metres of any vessel that is impacted by your wake or wash, including moored vessels. You must also keep to 4 knots within 50 metres of any person swimming in the water or on an unpowered craft such as a paddleboard, kayak or canoe.

Hazards on the River Murray

Marine Safety SA reminds all river users that the River Murray is a dynamic natural environment. Recent flooding activity and change in flow has caused an increase in natural debris and impacted the distribution of sand and sediment on the riverbed.

Please remember that hazards may be present under the surface of the water and may not be clearly seen. All river users are encouraged to enjoy water activities with caution and to take care when operating to ensure everyone keeps safe.

If you are towing skiers, it is always a good idea to check out the area before you tow to check for hazards.

Remember to report any hazards including events or behaviours that that endanger the safety of waterway users.

Marine Safety Officers out across the state

The Marine Safety Officers have been out and about across the state promoting boat safety and checking vessels have all the correct safety equipment on board.

Over the first couple of weeks of January, they have visited the River Murray, Yorke Peninsula and the South East, with ongoing patrols along the metro coast and at Goolwa and Victor Harbor.

During this period Marine Safety Officers have checked more than 550 vessels, with 66% of vessel operators being 100% compliant with safety equipment requirements and operating safely.

It’s important that all operators pack and wear their lifejackets, and check that flares haven’t expired.

Watch Marine Safety SA’s video to see how you can test your readiness in an emergency and have your safety equipment on hand in 30 seconds. Remember, safety gear is only helpful if accessible in an emergency.

Before heading out on the water, check what safety equipment you need and check your boat registration hasn’t expired.