Navigational markers in WA follow international recommendations

News for the Department of Transport


Following the tragic boating accident in Mandurah in January, where two women lost their lives, there has been an ongoing discussion around navigational aids in the Mandurah estuary, as well as general boat safety. 

Department of Transport (DoT) Acting Director Waterways Safety Management Laurie Adams confirmed that navigation markers at the site of the recent crash are lit and have reflectors to assist visibility. 

“The markers have special lights designed for marine conditions and can be seen up to 5 nautical miles away, providing sufficient warning for skippers,” he said. 

“DoT adheres to the International Association of Lighthouse Authority (IALA) recommendations when setting the flash intervals of a navigational aid.
“Flashing lights are more visible at night and the flash characteristic for the navigational aids in the main channel of the Mandurah Estuary are set at 0.7 on 2.3 seconds off meaning they flash once every 3 seconds.

“In accordance with IALA lateral navigational aids are identifiable as a red square and a green triangle.”

Mr Adams said DoT officers constantly monitor navigational aids as part of their general duties and each aid is inspected at least once a year.

“The navigational lights are specially designed solar lights for the marine environment,” he said.

“Should a light fail, DoT’s dedicated navigation aid contractor will replace the faulty light.”

DoT educates boat owners about safety, constantly reinforcing safe boating behaviours and messaging including: If you’re the skipper, you’re responsible.

Last December, the State Government launched a campaign to raise awareness of upcoming changes to safety equipment requirements for recreational craft in WA. 

Retired AFL footballer and marine biologist David Mundy is the ambassador for the year-long It's time to get on board campaign.

The changes are being introduced to save lives on the water and follow a review involving extensive community and stakeholder consultation.

The Government is currently drafting amendments to marine laws.

Page last updated: Mon Mar 13 2023 4:36:20 PM