Stay safe on the water

28 October 2019

Before you launch this boating season, make sure you know how to keep everyone safe.

Read on for the top 5 to know before you go.

Know what safety equipment you need – and when it expires.

You must carry safety equipment suitable for your vessel size and where you are going.

Make sure it’s also in good condition, readily accessible and protected from water and weather.

And remember – some equipment, like flares, will expire, so make sure you know when replacements are required.

This page will help you to know what safety equipment you need.

Know when you must wear a lifejacket.

South Australian lifejacket laws have changed to help keep our community safe when enjoying our states’ waterways.

What type of lifejacket, and when you must wear it, depends on your vessel, water activity, age and the conditions.

Check this table to know when you must wear a lifejacket. Or find more information here.

Know the area where you are boating

Before heading out, do your research on the area you are visiting.

Are you likely to come across any hazards, other vessels or larger ships? Do you know the rules of navigation?

What are the speed restrictions? Are there any restricted areas?

Should you expect any wildlife? Or will there be other people or residents also enjoying the area that you need to be considerate of?

Know what you should look out for.

Know the weather forecast – and when to recheck

Coastal weather forecasts provide information about conditions that may affect your safety.

But remember to check regularly during your trip. Weather can change quickly, and it isn’t always a quick trip back in.

Visit the Bureau of Meteorology to know the most accurate and up to date information.

Let someone know before you go

It's vital to let someone know where you are going, your point of departure, when you plan to return and the number of passengers with you.

Consider using a fridge magnet so your family or friends have easy access to your trip details.

You can also log your journey with a Volunteer Marine Rescue group.

A day on the water should be enjoyable for everyone.

For more tips and information to help you have a fun and safe day on the water, visit or refer to the SA Recreational Boating Safety Handbook.