90% of accidents involve the Skipper not having enough boating knowledge and experience.

It is the Skipper’s responsibility to ensure safety, which includes knowing and understanding 
the rules that apply before heading out on the water.

If you have an accident, ignorance of the law is not accepted as an excuse. Heavy fines and prison are possible for breaches of maritime rules.


You must keep a good lookout at all times. It is your responsibility to stay alert for other boats, swimmers, dive boats, kayaks, hazards and obstacles. Listen as well as look.


All boats must travel at a safe speed, taking into account the amount of boat traffic in the area, weather conditions and when visibility is affected by glare.

Specifically, you must not exceed a speed of 5 knots (a fast walking speed) if you are:

  • within 200m of the shore;
  • within 200m of a boat displaying a divers flag;
  • within 50m of any other boat;
  • within 50m of a person swimming;
  • on a power boat if any person has any part of their body outside the rails or edge of the deck.

Unless very closely supervised by an older person, who is in constant reach of the controls, you must be over the age of 15 to operate any power boat which is capable of speed exceeding 10 knots. This includes dinghies and PWCs.