Record vessel numbers expected for tonight’s Australia Day Skyworks

News for the Department of Transport


The Department of Transport (DoT) expects a record number of vessels to take to the water to enjoy tonight’s Australia Day Skyworks.

Skippers are being reminded to check their navigation lights and complete a safety check of their vessel and equipment before leaving home.

DoT Marine Officers are encouraging all skippers to check they have the correct combination of navigation lights for the trip home, recommending lifejackets be worn and in-date flares are carried, and reminding those with larger craft, to ensure tender vessels have navigation lights and are only used for transfers to shore.

DoT A/Director Waterways Safety Management Peter Beattie said tonight was traditionally the busiest time of the year on the river and skippers need to be patient and aware of the restrictions and closures that are in place.

“We want people to have a good time but skippers need to be responsible, patient and courteous. Skippers also need to be mindful it’s an offence to navigate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Mr Beattie said.

DoT recorded significant increases in boat transfers and new boat registrations during the past two years with the number of registered recreational vessels in WA increasing to 101,000 and new vessel registrations increasing by up to 33.5 per cent during the period (July 2020 to July 2021). 

Mr Beattie said conditions were particularly hazardous for small craft following the event as traffic on the water peaks, and if possible, skippers are encouraged to delay their journey home to ease congestion on the river and at boat ramps.

Boats fitted with a radio are asked to monitor 27.88 MHz or VHF 9 and 16 (call sign is ‘Marine Command’). These frequencies are for any on water information or instructions relating to the event. A message will be broadcast on these channels detailing closures and reopening of Perth Water. DoT Marine Officers will also be on hand to advise uncertain members of the boating public. 

On water restrictions and closures in place for Australia Day can be found on our website.

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Page last updated: Fri Jan 21 2022 3:59:39 PM