Centre for Maritime Safety


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Proper lookout

Keep yourself, your passengers and other people on the water safe.

Two divers in the shallow water

Keeping a proper lookout is the best way to avoid collisions with another boat, a hazard or a person in the water. This is a priority issue in the Maritime Safety Plan as lack of proper lookout is a significant contributing factor to fatal incidents and serious injuries on the waterways of NSW. The risk of being involved in an incident increases when not keeping a proper lookout and travelling at high speeds.

Follow the rules for safe and responsible boating on NSW waterways with the Boating Handbook.

Tips to stay safe:

  • Keep a safe distance at all times from the shore, structures other craft and people in the water
  • Look out for dive flags and keep your vessel at least 60 metres clear of divers
  • If keeping a proper lookout gets hard or stressful, slow down and give yourself more time to see what is happening around you
  • If you have other people on board, get them to help you keep a proper a lookout
  • Be especially careful when in heavy boating traffic, darkness, poor visibility, near blind corners or when there are lots of people in the water.