Boaters and paddlers are being urged to ‘Know the three when out at sea’ when out on the water this summer.

Safe Transport Victoria’s latest boating safety campaign asks boaters and paddlers to follow three simple safety rules:

  • Wear, maintain and service a lifejacket.
  • Carry at least two waterproof communications devices.
  • Check the weather before and after setting out.

Wearing a correctly fitted lifejacket gives someone who falls into the water time to save their life by allowing them to get back on board or call for help. A waterproof communications device is needed to raise the alarm once someone is in the water or if the boat capsizes. It’s important to always keep an eye on the weather forecast as conditions can change quickly.

There were seven boating-related fatalities in Victoria between July 2021 and June 2022. Boating-related fatalities recorded over the past decade were from a range of hazards, including drowning, fire, collisions, gas inhalation, and other boating accidents.

Over the past 10 years, nearly 4 out of 5 people who drowned while boating did not wear a lifejacket or wore an incorrectly fitted lifejacket.

Male boaters aged between 35 and 60 are the largest at-risk group and are the primary audience for the campaign.

To help spread the ‘Know the three when out at sea’ message, Safe Transport Victoria will run boating safety workshops at high traffic areas in regional Victoria throughout summer and officers will engage with boaters at boat ramps.

The ‘Know the three when out at sea’ campaign will run on radio, social media and online throughout the summer.

Quotes attributable to Lisa Faldon, Director Maritime Safety, Safe Transport Victoria:

‘The “Know the three when out at sea” summer boating safety campaign is aimed at keeping boaters and paddlers safe when out on the water.

‘There is no room for complacency, it doesn’t matter if you are a veteran or a first-time boat owner, know the three and get home safely each time you go out.

‘It’s important to know how to wear your lifejacket correctly – a poorly fitted lifejacket won’t stay on if you’re thrown into the water.’

Quotes attributable to Dr Hannah Calverley, Manager – Research and Evaluation, Life Saving Victoria:

‘Far too many Victorians have paid the ultimate price for not being prepared when out at sea.

‘This is particularly tragic when you consider that drowning is preventable with just a few simple steps, including wearing a lifejacket, having a way to call for help, and knowing the weather conditions.

‘Before you head out to sea, consider what you could be leaving behind if you don’t know the three.’