Boating safety

Find out about safety equipment for your boat, such as anchors, bailers or bilge pumps, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs), flares, fire extinguishers, radios and lifejackets.

30 Second Challenge

In an emergency you might have as little as 30 seconds to gather all your safety equipment. Find out more by visiting the What safety equipment do I need? page. Take the challenge now!

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 Maintaining your boat

A well-maintained vessel is basic to safety at sea. Poor motor maintenance alone is responsible for thousands of calls for assistance each year.


Find out about anchors including how to choose the right anchor, selecting a site to anchor and retrieving the anchor. Anchor rules and regulations are also provided here.

 Bailer or bilge pump

What you need to know about bailer or bilge pumps. All vessels must carry some form of bilge pump or bailing equipment.

 Boating behaviours and initiatives

Find out about important safe recreational boating behaviours ensuring a safe day on the water.

 Distress beacons

Distress beacons are devices that when activated in a life threatening situation assists rescue authorities by providing the approximate location of the beacon. Lives are saved each year because responsible skippers carry distress beacons.

 Disturbing marine animals and habitat

Find out how you can protect our marine animals and their Western Australian habitats.

 Fire extinguishers

Find out if you are required to carry a fire extinguisher, the different types available and inspection and servicing information.


All vessels operating outside protected waters must carry flares. The type you need depends on how far offshore you travel.

 GPS validation markers

Find out what Western Australia's GPS validation markers look like, how to use them and where they are located via coordinates list and interactive map.


Find out about lifejackets including the types available, who must carry them, when to wear them and how to choose and maintain them. This section also contains a list of other approved lifejackets.

 Lights required on boats

Find out about navigation lights including range of visibility, placement and optional lights. You can also determine what lighting is needed for power vessels and sailing vessels.

 Loading, stability and buoyancy

Find out about loading and buoyancy here, including the types of flotation, Australian Builders Plate, overloading and tips to ensure stability.

 Marine radios

Find out about the types of marine radios, who must carry one, licensing requirements, rules and operating hints and making distress calls.

 Navigation markers and buoys

Find out about navigation aids including the types of marks, Cardinal marks, leads, lights and the Coming in, Going out rule. You can also read about upgrades to the Swan Rivers navigational aids.

 Recreational rules and regulations

Find out about general rules and regulations, rules of the road and specific rules relating to sewage, diving, personal watercraft, tow-in surfing and water skiing.

 What safety equipment do I need?

What you need to know about safety equipment before hitting the water, including what you must have on board, how to use it, how to stow it and how to keep it maintained. Print out the safety equipment checklist to display on your vessel.

 Upcoming safety equipment changes

WA skippers are being urged to prepare for upcoming changes to safety equipment requirements for recreational vessels.

 Safety lanyards

Skippers need to be aware of the lifesaving benefits of using a safety lanyard, especially when boating alone.
Page last updated: Wed Nov 1 2017 8:53:25 AM