Spotlight on boating safety over Easter and the school holidays

14 April 2022

Holidaymakers are reminded to stay safe and to check their vessels and safety equipment before taking to the water over the upcoming Easter and school holiday periods.

The reminder to boaters comes as disappointing figures show that 38 per cent of vessels inspected at ramps and on the water by Department for Infrastructure and Transport Marine Safety Officers over the past 12 months were found to be non-compliant.

Expiation notices were issued for various offences including carrying expired flares, failing to comply with lifejacket requirements, speeding or operating an unregistered vessel.

As in previous years, compliance patrols will target the Murray River as well as coastal waters and boat ramps this Easter and school holiday period, to ensure the safety of all on the water.

Before leaving for your Easter or school holiday getaway, visit the Marine Safety SA website ( to make sure you are up to date with the latest safety information and requirements. You can review the safety equipment checklist and use the lifejacket checker tool to get up to speed on lifejacket laws.

Observe speed restrictions

Boat operators are reminded that a four-knot speed restriction applies within 50 metres of a person or non-powered vessel, within 30 metres of any other vessel, within 200 metres of the metropolitan shoreline and similar restrictions apply to many popular tourist and swimming beaches.

Four-knots is commonly referred to as a fast-walking speed. Slow down and make the boating experience safe and enjoyable for everyone, particularly with crowded waters expected over the holiday period.

Penalties apply if these controls or speed restrictions are not observed.

Requirements when towing water skiers

Those looking to tow skiers at any point must remember the following:

  • Anyone being towed must wear a level 50 or 50S lifejacket
  • The skipper needs to have a boat licence and the observer needs to be at least 16 years of age or hold a special permit
  • The skipper, observer and person being towed must stay below 0.05 alcohol limit
  • You cannot tow more than three people
  • A boat cannot travel within 100 metres directly behind a person being towed by another boat
  • Boats entering the take-off area have right of way.

Remember that boat ramps will be much busier over this holiday period. Please be patient and make sure your boat is seaworthy and ready to go before launching. Have fun and boat safely.