Know the law before you leave the shore

Victoria has one of the lowest rates of boating-related drownings. Sadly, drownings still occur mostly when boaters are not wearing a lifejacket. Marine authorities enforce lifejacket laws and penalties apply if occupants are not wearing a lifejacket when they are required to do so. Likewise, penalties also apply to the owner and masters of vessels. By wearing a lifejacket you are not just saving a fine, you are saving your life.

In Victoria, each boating activity and vessel type has a different law. Similarly, whether you are on coastal, enclosed or inland waters, different laws can apply. Always be aware of your vessel type and the waters you are in to ensure you have the appropriate lifejacket for everyone on board.

Your lifejacket must also conform to certain Victorian Marine Safety Regulations and Standards. All lifejackets need to be checked and serviced in line with the manufactures guidelines. Penalties can apply if the appropriate checks have not been made to ensure all jackets are of a sufficient working standard.

The Victorian laws are complex so please familiarize yourself with the type of lifejacket your vessel is required to carry. By having the correct lifejacket on board, you are one step closer to ensuring a safer boating experience for you and your family.

For more information on Victorian lifejacket laws please see the marine safety Victoria website by clicking on the link below:

Rock Fishing Safety

Be aware of the dangers and how to minimise them.

Enjoying Victoria’s beautiful coastline and the amazing fishing opportunities whilst staying safe.

Rock Fishing is a popular form of fishing in Australia. In Victoria, we are blessed with beautiful coastlines that make it easy to fish from rock ledges, submerged rocks and rock faces. However, whilst rock fishing can guarantee some great fishing there are serious dangers associated with it. Precautions need be taken to ensure that rock fishing is enjoyed safely. These precautions are easy to take and will keep you and your mates safe next time you are out on a rock face.

  1. Always wear a life jacket and never fish alone. Inform others of your fishing plans so that search and rescue know where to look if things turn bad.
  2. Wear light clothing; appropriate footwear and carry safety gear, a rope and a float are a couple of the essentials.
  3. Never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas.
  4. Observe first, fish later. This will ensure that you are aware of the conditions you will be fishing in and can properly prepare.
  5. Plan an escape route in case you are washed in.
  6. Stay alert at all times. Victoria is known for its unpredictability with weather conditions, changing from good to bad in a heartbeat.
  7. Ask advice from locals who know the area.

Life Saving Victoria along with stakeholders, VRFish and Fisheries Victoria worked on these guidelines through the rock safety project to reduce the amount of drownings as a result of rock fishing. Victorians are incredibly lucky to have such extensive and widespread coastlines that offer some of the most rewarding fishing experiences one can have. Follow these safety guidelines to ensure that you enjoy all the benefits of rock fishing without any of the unnecessary risk.


Bureau of Meteorology – Check the weather before rock fishing

Safe Fishing – Safe

Steer Clear of Ships in the Rip

Heading out to the Rip in Port Phillip Bay for a fish? Stay clear of ships.

Vessels must not anchor or drift within the transit only zone (TOZ). Please keep to the land-side of the TOZ beacons which have a yellow cross on top.

Ships can weigh more than 150,000 tonnes and cannot change course suddenly. They often are traveling faster than you think.

  • Anchoring and trolling in the rip is extremely dangerous
  • The rip is a high traffic area for ships
  • Don’t leave it too late.
  • If you cannot see the ship’s bridge they cannot see you
  • Steer clear of ships at all times
  • Ships cannot alter course in the rip
  • Penalties may apply

The Transit Only Zone:

  • Covers the Port Melbourne Channel south of Breakwater Pier, the water approximately 500 metres to the west and 200 metres to the east of that channel
  • Includes the Eastern By-Pass Channel and the Western By-Pass Channel (beside the Port Melbourne Channel)
  • Extends approximately 3 nautical miles to the south of Fawkner Beacon.

For more information contact:

Download Steer Clear brochure

Navigation Services
Port of Melbourne Corporation
Tel: 1300 857 662

Spear Safe

Spear Safe is a national initiative to improve safety for Australian spearfishers. The initiative involves some of Australia’s top divers and attempts to bring together a cohesive view on safety issues involved with spear-fishing.

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