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NSW boating handbook

NSW Maritime’s 2010-2011 Safe Boating Handbook is now available free, in print and online. NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn said the handbook contains essential information for safe and responsible boating, such as what safety gear to carry, boating and navigation rules and what to do in an on-water emergency.

It also provides detailed information about boat driver licensing and vessel registration requirements. Licence testing procedures are outlined in detail including the practical component introduced in 2009 to further promote safe and responsible boating.

“This latest edition boating handbook includes comprehensive information about the new compulsory lifejacket wearing requirements which came into effect for all recreational vessels on NSW waterways on 1 November 2010,” Dunn said.

Some of the new lifejacket rules include:

  • Lifejackets must be worn by children less than 12 years old
  • in a vessel less than 4.8m
  • when in an open area of a vessel less than 8 metres long that is underway

Lifejackets must be worn by all boaters in a vessel less than 4.8 metres:

  • at night
  • on open (ocean) waters
  • on alpine waters
  • when boating alone

There will be a 12-month advisory period while boaters get used to the new lifejacket rules. Copies of the new Safe Boating Handbook are available free from all NSW Maritime offices, as well as on-line at

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