Boating - SLS Beachsafe


Boating is an extremely popular activity in and around Australian coastal waterways. There are 2.7 million coastal boaters in Australia, of which 700,000 are frequent participants. An estimated 18% of Australians go boating each year, with the majority from Queensland, Tasmania, and New South Wales. 

Recreational boating is consistently the second highest coastal drowning activity nationally (following swimming & wading). Between 2004-19, more than half (53%) of all coastal boating drowning deaths were known not to be wearing a lifejacket. Lifejackets clearly positively impact the outcome of boating incidents yet are rarely worn as recommended. Currently, legislation is state-based and varies according to each state. 

Minimising Your Risks

Before you go boating it’s important that you STOP. LOOK. PLAN


  • Check the weather. Is it a boating day today?
  • Check the tides and other water conditions


  • Ensure there are lifejackets for each person
  • Check over your boat and engine
  • Ensure you have a phone, EPIRB, spot tracker and/or radio


  • Let someone know where you’re planning to go and when you plan to be back
  • Know what to do in an emergency
  • Know your boat and waterway regulations
  • Remember alcohol and boating don’t mix
What to Do in an Emergency
  • Dial 000 on your mobile or put out a call over your radio
  • Activate the EPIRB (if required)
  • If you’re not in immediate danger report any incident to your State police
  • Stay calm and move away from any danger
  • Ensure everyone is wearing a lifejacket
  • For more information check the Maritime/Transport service in your State

For more information visit the home of recreational boating at My Boating Life