The following is a summary of the safety equipment you should have on board your vessel. This does not cover all details and is by no means exhaustive. If you are not sure of your requirements seek advice from the Department of Transport, Coastguard or Maritime Safety Queensland (www.msq.qld.gov.au). Vessels operating within Queensland should have the following safety equipment on board:
- Lifejackets for all persons on board (PFD 1,2 or 3 depending on operational area – once you leave partially smooth waters you should only use PFD Type 1);
- Signalling device such as a torch, fluorescent light or lantern for trips between sunset and sunrise (during dark hours);
- V sheet;
- Two red hand flares and two orange smoke flares;
- Navigation equipment such as a chart or compass;
- Suitable bailing equipment, such as decent buckets (for vessels under 5m) or bilge pump (45L per minute for vessels under 8m);
- Manual propulsion such as a good set of oars or paddles;
- At least one anchor with 27m of rope (more if your vessel is over 8m);
- Sufficient drinking water for everyone on board for the duration of the trip;
- EPIRB – vessels operating more than 2 nautical miles from land must have a fully operational and current EPIRB.
A good marine radio is an essential piece of equipment for any offshore fishing expeditions. These days the VHF marine radio is the standard for recreational fishing and boating. The 27 MHz marine radio of old does not have the coverage of VHF.
If you have a VHF marine radio or intend to purchase one, it is important to know that you should have a certificate of proficiency. A person found operating a VHF marine radio without a certificate may be in breach of the Radiocommunications Act. The local Coastguard hold regular marine radio operators courses if you are interested in learning how to operate one.
In an emergency, knowledge of distress and safety procedures assists everyone involved in the rescue. Marine radios can also give you other information, including vital weather and navigational information, telephone calls to and from subscribers ashore, and many other services important to seafarers. The more you know about the operation of marine radios, the more benefit you'll have from yours.
The River to Reef book contains radio operating procedures and other boating sately information. Click here to buy the book now.