Boating Safety Requirements in Queensland

Recreational Boating Safety in QLD

EPIRB   – Required if more than 2 nautical miles off shore

An EPIRB or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon is a simple and effective alerting and locating device that is compulsory for all vessels operating more than 2 nautical miles from the shore. However, it is recommended that all vessels venturing offshore carry an EPIRB.

Once activated, an EPIRB transmits a distress signal for at least 48 hours that can detected by satellites and over flying aircraft.  A distress beacon’s location can generally be calculated by the satellite system to within a range of 5 kilometres for a 406 MHz and 20 kilometres for a 121.5 MHz beacon. The EPIRB should be accessible but stowed to avoid inadvertent activation. Do not stow it in the bottom of a locker.

It is important to note that the 121.5MHz signal will not be received after FEBRUARY 2009 and will be replaced by 406 MHz beacons.  We recommend you change to the 406 MHz at your next battery service.

Signalling device

For example: torch, fluorescent light, lantern and cyalume stick.  Are required by all vessels and PWC between sunset and sunrise.

Capacity Label
Required by all vessels and PWC

Ride Smart Label
Required by all PWC

Lifejackets (PFD’s – Personal Floatation Device)

Smooth Water

PFD types 1, 2 or 3
Except in a river, creek or stream, or waters contained within breakwaters or revetments if the boat has positive floatation** and grab
lines/rails and the ship owner has a positive flotation statement on the approved form.

**For ships not fitted with an Australian Builders Plate, a positive flotation statement completed by the manufacturer or an accredited marine surveyor or ship designer must be obtained and carried.

PWC require types 2 or 3 or a wetsuit with inbuilt flotation approved as PFD type 3

Partially Smooth Water

PFD types 1 or 2.  PFDs must be worn when crossing designated bars in open boats < 4.8 m.

PWC require PFD type 2

Beyond Smooth and Partially Smooth

PFD type 1.  PFDs must be worn when crossing designated bars in open boats < 4.8 m.

PWC require PFD type 2

LIFE JACKET TYPES

Type (Cat.) 1 life jackets offer protection from drowning by maintaining a person in a safe floating position in the water, with buoyancy behind the head. They are compulsory for all people on board vessels in the open sea. (However PWC riders may use a type 2).

Type (Cat.) 2 & 3 are suitable for water sports where the rescue time is likely to be short.  They are not designed to keep a persons head above water.  A key point – Type (Cat.) 1 Lifejackets are and have special buoyancy behind the head to maintain a safe floating position.

If there is a chance you will venture into the open sea in your boat it is often better to buy a Type 1 jacket from the outset rather than having to buy 2 different types.

Fire fighting equipment
Capable of extinguishing a fire quickly and effectively must be carried on all vessels over 5m in all conditions.

“V” Sheet

The V sheet is a fluorescent orange-red coloured sheet (1.8 x 1.2 metres) with a large black V printed in the middle. V sheets are required to be carried by all vessels operating in partially smooth or beyond smooth and partially smooth water.

They can be spread over the deck of a boat to indicate that you are in trouble or flown as a flag.

Flares

Flares signal that you are in trouble and provide an exact location for searching aircraft or vessels. Only ignite them when rescuers are in view and can spot your flare. A minimum of two red hand flares (for night or day use) and two orange smoke flares (for day use) are required to be carried on all vessels operating in partially smooth or beyond smooth and partially smooth water.

You should be able to locate and ignite the correct flare in total darkness. Most flares have a use-by date of three years and they should be replaced before the expiry date.

If your old flares appear to be in good condition keep them onboard as a backup. Once they start to look damaged, enquire with the manufacturer about the best means of disposal. Don’t put them in the garbage or take them to the tip.

Navigation

Navigation chart, lcompass, other direction finding or position equipment. Any boat operating operating in partially smooth or beyond smooth and partially smooth water is required to have a navigation tool. Even if your boat is fitted with satellite navigation equipment, a compass will indicate the course back to shore if rain, fog or sea haze obliterates the land from view. An appropriate chart or map that identifies prominent shore marks and offshore reefs and shoals is also required on all vessels offshore. Charts and maps help to determine your position, which can be of particular importance in an emergency.

Pumping/bailing
Required by all vessels as per below:
< 5 m: suitable bailing equipment.
5-8 m: bilge pump 45L/minute capacity
8 m+: bilge pump 70L/minute capacity.

Anchors

Choose the right size and type of anchor for your vessel and the nature of the sea bed. For example, an anchor designed for rocky bottoms will not hold on sand or mud. Always anchor by the bow not the stern, and never anchor in a channel or where submarine cables are signposted.

Smooth Water
<5 m:
one anchor with 18 m cable
5-8 m:
one anchor with 27 m cable
8 m+:
two anchors with 37 m cable each

Partially Smooth Water
<5 m:
one anchor with 27 m cable
5-8 m:
one anchor with 27m cable
8 m+:
two anchors with 37 m cable each

Beyond smooth and partially smooth water
<5 m:
one anchor with 27 m cable
5-8 m:
one anchor with 27 m cable
8 m+:
two anchors with 37 m cable each

Oars and/or Paddle

Oars and/or paddle must be carried on vessels under 6 metres in length. Owners of larger vessels should consider some means of auxiliary power as an effective safety device.

Fresh Drinking Water

All vessels must carry sufficient drinking water for everyone onboard for duration of trip

Another safety tip from Boat and Jetski Licence Noosa Sunshine Coast, servicing areas including Caloundra and Maroochydore right through to Gympie.