Tips for travelling safely at sea

Transport PNG
  • IT IS both the skipper and the passengers responsibility to ensure that before you depart in a boat to go out to sea, that you always put safety first to help protect yourself, your family and friends lives every time.
    According the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) Safety at sea, community awareness guide, it is important that you have information about understanding the weather, safety equipment checklists and what to do if you get into difficulty at sea and have general knowledge about the boats you travel in.
    Overloading is a major cause of deaths at sea
    Do not get on board if it is overloaded.
    Wait for another boat.
    Overloading is one of the easiest ways to swamp or capsize your boat.
    The more weight carried the greater the chances of swamping and capsizing.
    By law there must be 30cm of the boat above water when the boat is fully loaded. It is an offence with severe penalties to depart with an overloaded boat.
    Safety at sea is the whole community’s responsibility; the skipper, the boat owner and the passengers.
    General knowledge about understanding the weather is important to boating safety
    Always check and understand the weather forecast before setting out to sea. If it looks risky, do not go out.
    If you are already out at sea and it starts to get worse, head straight for shelter.
    The PNG National Weather Service provides weather information throughout the county. The weather information is relayed on local radio, television stations and newspapers.
    In these weather reports you will hear the wind speed referred to as Knots. A knot is one nautical mile per hour. For example, 1knot is 1.8km per hour.
    Safety equipment that should be on-board and in good working order every time you set out in a small water craft
  •  Life jackets Personal Floating Device (PFD)
    There must be one life jacket per person on-board. Children’s life jackets must fit them properly
  •  Drinking water and food
  •  Anchor
  •  Bucket
  •  Tarpaulin (can be used for shelter, or shade and catch rain water)
  •  V-Sheet (An orange coloured rectangle piece of fabric, about the size of a flag, with a large black letter V or black circle and black square.
    This orange sheet with symbols is used to indicate that a boat is in distress.
  •  Paddles
  •  Mirror or old CD (Use as a signalling device to reflect the sun and attract the attention of a passing boat or people on-shore.
  •  Waterproof torch
  • First aid kit
  •  Marine radio
  • Tools and spare parts
  • Sea anchor
  •  Compass
  • Whistle
  •  Knife
  •  Rope
  • Fishing line
  •  EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)