Marine Safety

THERE are more than 65,000 boats registered in Western Australia and every year there are about 1,800 rescue incidents.

To prevent marine emergencies and increase awareness of the many generally unforeseen hazards associated with the sea, most of WA's 36 marine rescue groups provide courses to improve boating safety. For more information on these courses, contact FESA Volunteer Marine Rescue Services (VMRS) on +61 8 9479 9309. Volunteer marine rescue groups also offer a voyage planning service, which allows recreational mariners to call in to a central source to record their:

  • call sign
  • the number of passengers
  • fuel supply
  • intended destination
  • expected time of return

What to do in an emergency

All mariners should also have a plan in case disaster strikes. Your plan may look like this:

  • Make radio contact with the nearest volunteer marine rescue group, providing:
  1. vessel location
  2. nature of problem
  3. number of people on board
  • Ensure vessel security and crew safety
  • Provide medical aid where necessary
  • If able, set an anchor and have all crew don life jackets
  • If unable to use the radio:
  1. if other vessels are nearby, discharge orange flares during daylight
  2. if other vessels are nearby or you are within five kilometres of land, discharge red hand-held flare every 30 minutes
  3. discharge parachute rocket flare when completely dark – discharge another one within one minute of the first being let off
  4. if there is no response from the discharge of flares, switch on EPIRB and secure lanyard
  5. prepare vessel and crew for possible overnight wait

Need more information


For more information on marine safety, visit the Department for Planning and Infrastructure website at: www.dpi.wa.gov.au/imarine/

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