25 September 2023

Boaters warned to see the light

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NSW Maritime has reminded recreational boaters around NSW to ensure they use navigation lights on their vessels.

Executive Director of NSW Maritime, Mark Hutchings said that with shorter days and colder water during winter, it was a timely reminder of the importance of displaying correct navigation lights when boating at night.

“NSW Maritime’s Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) conduct early morning and night patrols to ensure vessels are displaying the correct lights,” Mr Hutchings said.

“Using navigation lights helps boaters stay safe so they can avoid hazards and exercise good judgement, and reminds boaters to keep a proper lookout when visibility becomes limited or reduced,” he said.

“Navigation lights also help boats be seen at night by other boaters, which is important in avoiding collisions.”

Mr Hutchings said the most common offence involved vessels not displaying an all-round white light correctly.

He said Boaters were required by law to display navigation lights and that non-compliance in NSW carried a penalty of $250 or a court-imposed maximum penalty of $5,500.

“When night falls, the water becomes a completely different environment,” Mr Hutchings said.

“Every vessel on the water, from kayaks to sailboats to superyachts, needs lights in order to be seen,” he said.

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