Life jackets and lookouts for a safer summer

The loss of 12 lives on Queensland waters this year was a grim reminder to recreational and commercial boaties to keep a proper lookout and be ready for emergencies this summer.

Maritime Safety Queensland says the holiday season means an increased risk of boating mishaps as more people head for the water.

The loss of 1 life at sea is one too many and tragically most of these deaths are avoidable.

The skipper is responsible for ensuring everyone on board knows where the life jackets are located and how to put them on in a hurry.

But don’t wait until it’s too late—it’s common sense to put on your life jackets before you need them.

Whenever you think there is a heightened risk such as worsening weather or when you’re in a busy boating lane make sure everyone, especially the kids, is wearing a life jacket.

Always wear a life jacket at night or when boating alone.

Boat skippers should slow down immediately bad weather, glare, darkness or anything else impairs their vision and be prepared for the worst.

Before you head out tell your local volunteer marine rescue group where you are going and when and where you’re due back.

Boaties should make sure they knew their navigation rules.

These rules ensure boaties give a clear indication about passing, approaching, giving way and overtaking other boats.

You should always make your movements clear and deliberate so that other masters can see your intentions.

Never assume the master of another boat will observe the rules and always be prepared to take action to avoid a collision.

Consider taking a refresher course through your nearest BoatSafe provider if you aren’t confident your knowledge is up-to-date.

Skippers should remember the same under .05 rule for drink driving applies on the water as on the road.

Maritime Safety Queensland, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Queensland Water Police have already stepped up compliance and education operations on coastal and inland waterways.

More information

Last updated
23 January 2023