Boat and Jetski New Safety Rules 2012

Safety equipment and operational changes


Everyone onboard to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when in an open boat under 4.8 metres in length when crossing coastal bars. This applies to recreational boats and commercial and fishing ships.


Designated coastal bars which when crossing everyone must wear a PFD.

Currumbin Bar

Tallebudgera Bar

Jumpinpin Bar

South Passage Bar

Caloundra Bar

Maroochy Bar

Noosa Bar

Wide Bay Bar

Mooloolah River mouth

Gold Coast Seaway

Round Hill Creek


Personal watercraft operations

To improve marine safety and reduce injuries from collisions involving personal watercraft the following changes have occurred:

 Personal watercraft driver to maintain a distance of 30 metres from other moving vessels when travelling at more than 10 knots, unless the personal watercraft is involved in an approved aquatic event.

 Personal watercraft licence holder is to wear the ‘kill switch’ safety lanyard when the personal watercraft is being driven by a learner driver.

 A learner personal watercraft driver can not carry passengers other than the supervising personal watercraft licence holder.


Additional compulsory safety equipment required when riding a PWC outside smooth waters

V sheet


EPIRB (if more than 2 miles from land)


Other changes

  • The owner of a boat must verify that a person who is to be the master of the boat holds a boat licence.
  • EPIRB’s must be registered with AMSA (free service) and the sticker is attached to the EPIRB.


New open recreational marine driver licence for boats of any length

From January 2013, if you are a new boat licence applicant wanting to operate recreational boats of any length (that is not limited to recreational boats under 12 metres), you will need to meet the following requirements:

 Holding a limited recreational marine driver licence (limited to less than 12 metres) or equivalent from another Australian state or territory for at least one year.

 Minimum age of 18 years.

 The completion under the supervision of an open recreational marine licence holder or equivalent of a range of boating tasks required in an advanced BoatSafe workbook.

 The completion of an advanced BoatSafe training course focussing on specific knowledge required to operate larger recreational boats.

Holders of a recreational marine driver licence issued prior to 1 January 2013 and those with a master’s certificate for a commercial or fishing ship will continue to be able to operate recreational vessels of any size without further requirements.