NSW Maritime reminds recreational boat users to use navigation lights on their vessels

SAFE BOATING: Local skippers are being reminded to comply with regulations regarding navigation lights, or risk copping hefty fines. Picture: Supplied
SAFE BOATING: Local skippers are being reminded to comply with regulations regarding navigation lights, or risk copping hefty fines. Picture: Supplied

Recreational boat users in Lake Macquarie and Tuggerah Lakes are being reminded to use navigation lights on their vessels.

NSW Maritime executive director, Mark Hutchings, said with shorter days and colder water during winter, it was timely to remind boat users of the importance of displaying correct navigation lights when boating at night.

"NSW Maritime's boating safety officers 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.

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

Non-compliance with navigation lighting in NSW carries a penalty of $250 or a court-imposed maximum penalty of $5500. Picture: Supplied

Non-compliance with navigation lighting in NSW carries a penalty of $250 or a court-imposed maximum penalty of $5500. Picture: Supplied

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

"The height of the light is often positioned too low and its visibility is restricted by parts of the boat," Mr Hutchings said.

"Boaters are required by law to display navigation lights, and the required number and combination of lights varies on the size and type of the craft.

"When night falls, the water becomes a completely different environment. Every vessel on the water, from kayaks to sailboats to super-yachts, needs lights in order to be seen.

"Vessel lights should be mounted in a position that gives the skipper optimum night vision and allows others to see the vessel from every direction.

"Navigation lights should also be installed correctly so they are not obscured by the vessel's structure or mistaken for deck lights."

Non-compliance with navigation lighting in NSW carries a penalty of $250 or a court-imposed maximum penalty of $5500.

Raising awareness and encouraging boaters to fit and use the required lights is in line with the Keeping a Proper Lookout priority action.

This is one of the objectives from the Maritime Safety Plan 2017-2021 to reduce serious boating injuries.

Mr Hutchings said the most common offence involves vessels not displaying an all-round white light correctly. Picture: Supplied

Mr Hutchings said the most common offence involves vessels not displaying an all-round white light correctly. Picture: Supplied

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