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How to prepare your passengers

Logo for Connect, the department's newsletter

31 March 2015

As the vessel operator, you are responsible for the safety of the vessel and your passengers.

In an emergency both you and your passengers will need to know what to do. Everyone needs to understand the basics of the vessel to be able to help out if needed.

This will especially be the case, if for any reason, you become injured or incapacitated.

Here’s a check list of how to prepare your passengers for a day on the water.

  • emphasise the importance of the passengers following orders given by the vessel skipper
  • conduct a crew/passenger orientation and safety briefing before the vessel leaves the berth (launches), including what equipment is stored where, how it works, the basics of operating a boat and what to do in an emergency
  • encourage passengers to wear a Personal Flotation Device (or at least know where they are stored)

It is important to remember that as the skipper you are responsible and must take control in an emergency.

If you’re not able to, your passengers need to be able to get themselves out of trouble.

For a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, the Personal Watercraft Safety Reference Guide or the Kayaks and Canoes Safety Reference Guide please telephone 1300 183 046, or email


Boating safety