Safe on the Water

Do you know your responsibilities on the water?


As the weather warms up and our waterways get busier, Flinders Ports, South Australia’s leading port operator, reminds boaties to stay safe on the water in Port Adelaide’s Port River, Outer Harbor and around the shipping channel.

While fishing and recreation are welcomed on the Port River, small boats should keep clear of  the Port River channel and its approaches when large ships are there .

Ships that are 300 metres long, weighing over 100,000 tonnes are now common around Port Adelaide. Sailing around these massive ships can have many hidden dangers, and it is important that boaties know their responsibilities and do not become complacent when out on the water.

If you are planning to head out for a day on the water, you are responsible for your own safety, and for knowing the do’s and don’ts.  You can reduce the risks of boating around the mammoth ships by following a few easy tips.

1. Understand your responsibilities
Get a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating and Safety Handbook by calling 13 10 84 or visiting  You can also download a fact sheet from for information on staying safe on the water around Port Adelaide.

2. Know who is about

Before you head out on the water in Port Adelaide, start by visiting Flinders Ports’ mobile phone and tablet-friendly website,, to check out the shipping schedule. This has the latest information on shipping movements and port rules in and around Flinders Ports’ South Australian ports.

3. Never anchor in a shipping channel
It is illegal and extremely dangerous. Small boats should also avoid sailing in a channel and its approaches when large vessels are using that channel. It is often impossible for big ships to stop or change course to avoid a small boat. Big ships need deep water to navigate safely and must maintain speed to be able to steer. Appearances can be deceptive too. Large vessels are often travelling far faster than they seem to be.

4. Be seen
The bridge of a large ship can be over 100 metres away from the bow. Her blind spot span up to one kilometre in front of the ship, so just because you have spotted a big vessel, never assume that her crew has seen your boat. If you are out on the water at night or when visibility is poor, always switch on your navigation lights.

Remember to keep clear of big ships and be seen. Know the rules and enjoy South Australia’s coastal havens this summer.

For a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating and Safety Handbook call 13 10 84 or visit:
For details on shipping movements at South Australian ports operated by Flinders Ports visit:

Be Safe on the Water.

Download a fact sheet and know your responsibilities.



South Australia’s Gateway

With seven ports, Flinders Ports is South Australia's leading privately owned port operator.

Our ongoing program of investment in new plant and infrastructure is driving the safety and productivity gains we are delivering to our valued clients.

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P + 61 (0)8 8447 0611
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296 St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide South Australia, 5015

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