Maritime Safety Victoria explores the lessons learnt from boating incidents. To get these features and the latest news in your inbox, subscribe to Shipshape
Lessons Learnt: Burnt out
9 December 2021
An experienced boater was doing a seasonal maintenance run on his large powerboat when an electrical fire broke out in the engine room.
Lessons Learnt: Alone at sea
28 October 2021
In August, a solo boater in his early 20s went overboard while fishing, with the boat drifting too quickly to catch.
Lessons Learnt: Yacht group separated in storm
6 July 2021
The rescue of a father and his 11-year-old daughter off Western Australia in May highlights the importance of activating – and then staying with – a distress beacon in an emergency.
Lessons Learnt: Coroner urges preparation
28 April 2021
The sad death of a young sailor in 2019 has resulted in a recent coroner's recommendation that all boaters – especially those going solo – prepare for the worst.
Lessons Learnt: Cry for help heard by chance
24 February 2021
In a recent incident, two adults and a child found themselves clinging to a sinking personal watercraft (PWC) off Beaumaris.
Lessons Learnt: Clinging to life in frigid river
10 December 2020
During an early evening in August, a man in his seventies was ejected from his powerboat after hitting a submerged object in Glenelg River.
Lessons Learnt: Boater reflects on lake plunge
24 September 2019
An experienced boater found himself splashing around in Lake Eildon recently, after a simple stumble had him in the water with his boat dangerously motoring around him.
Lessons Learnt: Lost in the fog
30 August 2019
A new boater set out on a calm day, and didn't panic when he got in a spot of bother. However, the setting sun and a dead phone meant spending a cold night in the elements.
Lessons Learnt: Overboard as night falls
18 June 2019
A man thrown from his moving vessel 'should buy a lotto ticket' say rescuers, after he was spotted in distress by fishermen on land operating a camera drone.
Lessons Learnt: Lock in a buddy plan
27 March 2019
When Josh fell overboard on a solo fishing trip, no one knew to call for help.
Lessons Learnt: Carry a distress beacon
15 February 2019
When James capsized, he knew his beacon was his best hope of raising the alarm.
Lessons Learnt: Could you save yourself?
15 January 2019
This month's Lessons Learnt feature focusses on the risk of falling overboard - as part of our 'Prepare to survive: Know the five' campaign message, 'Practise getting back on'.
Lessons Learnt: When weather turns deadly
12 December 2018
Victorian boater Max says he’s witnessed weather having fatal consequences.
Lessons Learnt: Lake placid, then perilous
27 November 2018
A solo fishing trip nearly ended in disaster when conditions rapidly changed. Thankfully, the boater was wearing a lifejacket.
Lessons Learnt: Radio rescues
20 August 2018
This month we look at a couple of cases where skippers of vessels in distress called Marine Radio Victoria for help.
Lessons Learnt: Hidden hazards on a calm day
7 June 2018
When Betty* was enjoying an early morning fishing trip with her husband on the Tambo River, she had no idea her world was about to turn upside down – literally.
Lessons Learnt: Oh buoy, I'm in trouble
27 February 2018
In a recent incident, the use of a sliding buoy system to retrieve an anchor may have caused the capsize of a recreational boat.
Lessons Learnt: How a routine commute led to capsize
4 January 2018
In October, a well-prepared paddler was undertaking his regular 4.5km commute home by sea-kayak from Stony Point to French Island when his vessel capsized.
Lessons Learnt: Out of sight, out of mind
25 October 2017
Over the past couple of months we've seen a number of boat fires and vessel disablements in Victoria.
Lessons Learnt: Raising the alarm
7 September 2017
Earlier this month a young man tested his new kayak in what appeared to be calm conditions off Altona. He ended up in the water clinging to his vessel with no way to call for help.
Lessons Learnt: Be safe, be seen on the water
2 August 2017
When it comes to navigation lights, many boaters are in the dark - which means they are at risk of a collision with another vessel.
Lessons Learnt: Explosion after refuelling
30 June 2017
In May, a petrol-powered inboard open type boat exploded at the Mildura Marina with six people onboard, including a child.
Lessons Learnt: Trio tipped into cold water
8 June 2017
A 4.5m open boat capsized while traversing along the shore near a back beach of Point Nepean around noon on 14 May.
Lessons Learnt: Capsize at Geelong's Grain Pier
13 April 2017
A recent incident shows how quickly a situation can change, and how important it is to have your safety gear to hand.
Lessons Learnt: Dad shares beacon of hope
1 February 2017
We are delighted to kick off 2017 with a very special Lessons Learnt. A family fishing trip went awry, but the well-prepared skipper was able to call for help and launch a speedy rescue.
Lessons Learnt: Trio lost at sea
8 November 2016
Three men went boating in Port Phillip Bay, but drowned after their boat capsized.
Lessons Learnt: Anglesea angels of the sea
3 October 2016
Off-duty surf lifesaving club members come to the rescue of kayaking students and teachers at Anglesea beach after they drifted outside of the protection of the cliffs and were unable to paddle ashore against very strong winds.