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Safety equipment for boats in Queensland

Having the right safety equipment on your boat and knowing how to use it is essential. This could save your life in an emergency.

What safety equipment do I need?

There are 3 types of safety equipment for boats registered in Queensland: 

The safety equipment you're required to carry depends on the size of your boat, whether the boat needs to be registered and where you're operating.

Some boats (also known as prescribed other Queensland regulated ships) may be required to carry additional or specific types of safety equipment such as those required under the national system.

To comply with your General Safety Obligation you should carry the appropriate safety equipment for the or waters where you will be boating. This will ensure you are prepared for an emergency or any unexpected events.

Standard safety equipment for registered boats

Equipment Smooth waters Partially smooth waters Beyond partially smooth waters
Must carry the following equipment
EPIRB or PLB*   ✔#
Flares (2 red hand-held and 2 orange smoke)


Fire fighting equipment

Signalling device if operating at between sunset and sunrise (e.g. torch, lantern, glow stick)
V sheet

Lifejacket ✔ Lifejacket level 50, 100, 150, 275 or level 50 special purpose ✔ Lifejacket level 100, 150, 275 or level 50
✔ Lifejacket level 100, 150, 275
Should carry the following equipment
Anchor ✔ (with cable appropriate for size of vessel) ✔ (with cable appropriate for size of vessel) ✔ (with cable appropriate for size of vessel)
Chart  
Compass  

Drinking water
Handheld electronic navigation device (if not equipped with a chart and compass)
Oars or paddles (for boats under 6m)


Pumping or bailing equipment

# Owners/masters must give each person on board information about where the safety equipment is kept. Lifejackets must be either worn or readily accessible and clearly visible to passengers or their storage location - indicated by a clearly visible sign with a white background marked with the word 'lifejackets' in red letters or vice versa.

* PLBs may be used in the place of an EPIRB by lightweight craft operators only if they comply with conditions of carriage.

# Required when operating more than 2 nautical miles outside of smooth waters or partially smooth waters or other waters more than 2 nautical miles from land.

Standard safety equipment for boats that don't require registration

Equipment Smooth waters Partially smooth waters Beyond partially smooth waters
Must carry the following equipment
EPIRB or PLB* ✔#
Signalling device if operating at between sunset and sunrise (e.g. torch, lantern, glow stick)



Should carry the following equipment
Anchor ✔ (with cable appropriate for size of vessel)  ✔ (with cable appropriate for size of vessel)
✔ (with cable appropriate for size of vessel)
Chart  
Compass  
Drinking water
Handheld electronic navigation device (if not equipped with a chart and compass)
 
Flares (2 red hand-held and 2 orange smoke)  

Fire fighting equipment
Lifejacket
✔ Lifejacket level 50, 100, 150, 275 or level 50 special purpose
✔ Lifejacket level 50, 100, 150, 275
✔ Lifejacket level 100, 150, 275
Oars or paddles (for boats under 6m)

Pumping or bailing equipment
V sheet  
✔ 

# Owners/masters must give each person on board information about where the safety equipment is kept. Lifejackets must be clearly visible to passengers or readily accessible and indicated by a clearly visible sign with a white background marked with the word 'lifejackets' in red letters or vice versa. 

* PLBs may used by lightweight craft operators only and only in accordance with the conditions of carriage.

# Required when operating more than 2 nautical miles outside of smooth waters or partially smooth waters or other waters more than 2 nautical miles from land.

To see the detailed list of safety equipment and exemptions for the carriage of some equipment in certain situations download the safety equipment for recreational boats and personal watercraft table.

Skipper safety

Safety lanyardMost boats have a fixed throttle system. This means that the vessel or boat will stay at the same speed until the skipper changes the speed, rather like a car with cruise control. If the skipper falls over board or leaves the steering position the boat will continue moving.  However, if the skipper is wearing a safety lanyard connected to the motor the vessel will stop accelerating in this situation. It is strongly recommended that the skippers of all boats, but especially tiller steered boats and PWC, have a safety lanyard attached to their wrist which will stop the motor instantly if the skipper loses control of the boat.

Maintaining your safety equipment

Some safety equipment include parts that can deteriorate over time. This reduces their effectiveness or makes them unusable. The following safety equipment must be replaced or serviced by the manufacturer (or an authorised agent) by the expiry date, which must be clearly marked on the equipment: 

Equipment that cannot be serviced or no longer works must be replaced.


Last updated
03 May 2018