Please select your home edition
Pantaenius FBW Comprehensive 728x90

'Get lit' for safety after sundown on Hunter and Northern NSW waterways

by Emily Rundle 14 Nov 2020 07:59 UTC
Aquanima 40 - underwater and roof lights © Azura Marine

A boating enforcement blitz with a focus on safety after sundown starts today on waterways from Tweed Heads to Lake Macquarie and west to Orange.

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said 'Operation Well Lit' will involve random checks of safety equipment on recreational vessels, with a focus on navigation lights.

"The risks are heightened when boating before dawn, after dusk and when you're offshore," Mr Hutchings said.

"During the past six months, NSW Maritime officers have reported an increase in recreational boating activity, possibly as a consequence of limitations on other recreational activity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"This, coupled with daylight savings and warmer weather, means more people are on the waterways into the evening. We want to ensure everyone boating after dark is doing so safely."

Mr Hutchings said at night, every type of craft on the water needs lights in order to be seen.

"Whether you're paddling, rowing, sailing or motoring, everyone needs to be able to recognise where you are and what you're doing," he said.

"Swansea Channel, Lake Macquarie and Wallis Lake are popular with vessel operators scoop netting for prawns at night between November and April.

"Navigation lights may not be as bright as other lights and background lights may hide something that is closer.

"If you anchor at night, show an all round white light clearly visible through an arc of 360 degrees, where it can best be seen. Lights should be mounted in a position that gives the skipper optimum night vision and allow others to see you from every direction.

"You must also carry a working waterproof floating torch. It may help others to see you if you shine your torch on your sails or superstructure."

New and experienced boaters can refer to a lighting checklist which includes checking lights before heading out, when boating at night or during restricted visibility. Boaters are reminded to wear a lifejacket - don't risk your life.

Mr Hutchings said the ultimate aim was to reduce trauma on NSW waterways towards zero, in recognition that seven lives have been lost on NSW waterways since 1 July.

The two-day blitz will extend from sunset on Friday 13 November to sunset on Sunday 15 November.

For more information on night safety and lighting visit

Related Articles

Boaters met with summer safety focus
Hundreds more people have taken to NSW waterways In a year marked by COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds more people have taken to NSW waterways. Posted on 11 Jan
North Coast boaters urged to stay off waterways
With debris, severe flooding, king tides and strong winds causing havoc Boaters on Northern NSW waterways are advised to stay off the water for the next week with debris, severe flooding, king tides and strong winds causing havoc from Forster to the Tweed. Posted on 17 Dec 2020
Bring expired flares for safe, easy disposal
Boaters across NSW will be able to dispose of expired flares with 46 collection points Boaters across NSW will again be able to dispose of their expired flares safely and easily with 46 collection points launching this month. Posted on 19 Nov 2020
Wollongong Harbour master plan released
Transport for NSW released the plan to guide the vision and future investment for Wollongong Transport for NSW has today released the plan to guide the vision and future investment for Wollongong Harbour, which includes strengthening the links between the city centre and the waterfront. Posted on 19 Nov 2020
Boaters advised of new speed limit at Ettalong
Being introduced for the safety of all waterway users Boaters are advised to slow down on Brisbane Water at Ettalong with a new speed limit to be introduced for the safety of all waterway users at the end of the month. Posted on 17 Nov 2020
Swansea Channel dredging work more than doubled
Dredging work currently under way at the entrance to Lake Macquarie. Transport for NSW will carry out twice the amount of planned dredging of Swansea Channel, thanks to an additional $300,000 in NSW Government funding. Posted on 28 Oct 2020
Inflatable lifejacket self-service clinics
These clinics follow the successful Old4New mobile lifejacket program NSW Boating Education Officers conduct free Inflatable Lifejacket Self-Service Clinics across New South Wales during the boating season each year. Posted on 3 Oct 2020
Zero tolerance boating blitz this long weekend
One death on any NSW waterway is too many NSW Maritime operations team will take to the waterways in a statewide safety compliance blitz this long weekend. Posted on 3 Oct 2020
Cold snap poses additional risk for boaters
Boaters across NSW are advised to take extra care with gale force westerly winds forecast Boaters across NSW are advised to take extra care with gale force westerly winds and a severe drop in water temperatures forecast from today until mid-next week. Posted on 22 Aug 2020
Top tech for optimum safety on Sydney Harbour
Safety on Australia's most iconic waterway is in for a boost NSW Maritime Acting Executive Director Alex Barrell said the new eight-metre NSW Maritime patrol boat would be operated on Sydney Harbour by boating safety officers who provide on-water safety advice and help to boaters 365 days a year. Posted on 11 Aug 2020
Marina Exchange FOOTER 138 South - Merry Fisher 795 Series - FOOTERSea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTER