Sydney Harbour boaters targeted in ˜keep right’ campaign

Sydney Harbour boaters targeted in ‘keep right’ campaign

NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers will be out on Sydney Harbour and its tributaries on the weekend (28 and 29 March) ensuring all skippers are operating on the right side of the channel.

NSW Maritime Regional Manager Sydney Trevor Williams said it was crucial that all skippers were aware of the basic rule of the waterways – to keep as far to the right as possible.

“Boating Safety Officers who patrol Sydney Harbour remind skippers on Sydney Harbour on a daily basis about the need to keep to the right,” Mr Williams said.

“It is one of the most basic international rules of boating. Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, the skipper must keep as far to the right-hand side as is safe and practicable.

“Unless you have a reason to be on the left (port) side of the channel, such as when reaching a destination, then you should always be of the right of the centre.

“This rule exists to prevent collisions with other vessels, and is especially relevant for narrow and congested waters such as in Middle Harbour, the Spit, and Parramatta River.”

Mr Williams said it also paid to be familiar with a waterway and any landmarks or navigation markers before going boating.

“There seem to be quite a few skippers who are confused as to how to round Bradleys Head for example. If you keep the safe water mark to the left (port) heading seaward, then you are doing the correct thing,” Mr Williams said.

“Sydney Harbour is an extremely busy waterway that requires skippers to be aware of their responsibilities and ensure safety comes first.

“A diverse range of recreational and commercial boats including large ships, ferries and charter boats, private cruisers and yachts, runabouts, sailing skiffs, dinghies, sailboards, rowing shells, kayaks and dragon boats use the Harbour every day,” Mr Williams said.