17 September 2014
A timely reminder for yachties before the sailing season starts, whether racing or cruising, to ensure your vessel has all of the required safety equipment and items are in date and operational.
There can be confusion about the need to carry safety equipment for a motor vessel, if the vessel has an engine.
Regulations require all vessels fitted with an engine to be registered and that the registration number be clearly marked on both sides of the bow.
Racing numbers do not replace the requirement for the vessel registration numbers, and must be clearly visible regardless of whether the engine is operating or not.
The operator of the vessel must also be the holder of a motor boat operators licence.
Boaters are reminded of changes, which came into effect in 2009, requiring vessels to carry a personal flotation device type 1 (commonly referred to as a life jacket) for all people aboard as well as flares when operating in semi protected waters.
(Semi protected waters are within two nautical miles of the coast of the mainland and Kangaroo Island.)
Flares should be checked to ensure they are within the three year expiry date.
Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) registration must be renewed every two years. It’s free and ensures accurate information in the event of a distress call. EPIRB batteries also have a use-by date that should be checked.
Bilge pumps need to be tested periodically and there must be sufficient pumps to cope with quantity of water which may enter the vessel. (For vessel under eight metres, bailers may be carried instead.)
Small, unpowered sailing vessels are exempt from the requirements to carry safety equipment for a motor vessel, but the operator and others aboard must wear a personal flotation device type 1, 2, or 3 at all times when on the water.
For full details of the safety equipment requirements visit www.sa.gov.au/boatingmarine