Breaking News:

News from Marine Safety South Australia

Understanding your vessel speed

Before heading out on the water, make sure you know the local speed limits and restrictions that apply to the waterways where you plan to operate. You can find this information on the boat ramp signs before you launch.

All vessels must always travel at a safe speed. This means you should be able to stop or turn your vessel to avoid any sudden dangers like collisions, injuries, or property damage. Safe speed also depends on the weather, time of day, type of vessel and your operating experience.

When judging your speed, always consider:

  • visibility – rain, fog, mist, smoke, glare and night operation.
  • other vessels – busy waterways, vessels within 30 metres, moored or anchored vessels and large commercial vessels.
  • other people – swimmers or people in non-powered craft.
  • how easily your vessel can stop and turn.
  • navigation hazards – unmarked dangers, signs, buoys and damaged marks or lights.
  • shallow water – frequently changing or unpredictable depths.

Find out more about safe vessel speeds.

Did you know that there are 4-knot (equivalent to a fast walking pace), 7-knot, unrestricted speed limits and no vessel areas within the Port Adelaide River?

View the Port River speed limit map for details.

New Port Hughes web camera

Do you launch your vessel at Port Hughes? Marine Safety SA has installed a new live web camera so you can check weather conditions and see how busy the boat ramp is before you go.

View the Port Hughes webcam as well as cameras at Outer Harbour, North Haven, West Beach, O’Sullivan Beach, Edithburgh, and Port Hughes at the Marine Safety SA website.

Before heading out, make sure you check the weather forecast.

Aids to navigation – buoys, marks and beacons

Buoys, marks and beacons sticker

Do you know where the only safe water mark in South Australia is and what to do when you see one of these markers?

The answer is Murray Bridge and this type of marker is to show that there is safe water all around it.

Test yourself on the different types of markers by taking the Marine Safety Quiz and stay up to date for your next trip on the water.

You can also order a free Buoys, Marks and Beacons sticker to guide you while out on the water. Request one today, just email the Marine Safety SA team at with your postal address.

Refresh your knowledge

The boating off-season is a great time to refresh your boating safety knowledge, including important give-way rules. Visit the Marine Safety SA website and take the practice test.

Marine Safety SA regional school visits

Presentation by Marine Safety SA

Marine Safety SA team visiting Smoky Bay

Marine Safety Officers recently visited both the Smoky Bay Area School and Miltaburra Area School to deliver important boating safety messages and a Special Permit theory test to students aged 12 to 15 years.

Students who passed the test can now operate any powered recreational vessel (excluding personal watercraft) under the supervision of a full boat licence holder.

Gaining your Special Permit allows young people to enjoy the water and improve their boating safety knowledge.

The Marine Safety SA team visits schools across the State to promote positive interactions within the boating community. For further information about Special Permits or to apply visit the SA.GOV.AU website.

Oil spill response exercise

Deploying of containment boom

Containment of area affected by potential oil spill

This month the Marine Safety SA team undertook important oil spill response training as part of their duties as the control agency for marine oil spills in South Australian coastal waters.

The exercise at the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron aim was to prepare and maintain skills within the team when responding to oil spill incidents. The team practiced deploying containment booms and operating skimmers, which would be required in the event of a major oil spill on coastal waters in South Australia.