Many people spend a lot of effort (and money) preparing for a day on the water.
High tech fishing finding equipment is installed and rods and reels delicately rigged.
Skiiers buy wetsuits, boards and biscuits and ipods are docked into sophisticated sound systems.
What’s often overlooked is safety equipment.
The simple items that must be legally carried and may even save a life are simply ignored.
This summer I implore you to take a little time to make a list of what you need to take and check before each journey.
What you need depends on the size of the boat, where you’re going and how many people you are carrying.
Vessels over eight metres have different requirements compared with smaller vessels.
Those travelling more than two nautical miles from the coast must carry more equipment than those staying closer to shore.
A complete list of who must carry what and where is available online at sa.gov.au/boatingmarine
A video showing some of the safety gear needed is online at http://dpti.sa.gov.au/ondeck/out_at_sea3?297
Your vessel size is unlikely to change so it’s easy to put together your own list of what you must carry.
This can be used as a check list each time you go out. Please check you’ve got what you need and that it’s all in working order.
This simple routine will ensure you don’t forget the extra lifejacket for your child’s friend who decided to come along.
And will ensure the fire extinguisher or flare you suddenly need isn’t expired.
Developing a safety routine like this should be part of every responsible boat owner’s preparation.
Hopefully these items will never have to be used, but getting in the habit of checking your equipment is best way to look after the safety of you and your passengers on the water.
Director, Transport Safety Regulation