What to do in an emergency

Most emergencies on the water can be avoided by good seamanship. However, they can happen on even the best maintained vessels so you need to be equipped to handle them.

Always call triple zero (000) if you are involved in or witness an emergency.

If an incident has occurred but you are not in immediate danger, report it to Victoria Police on 1800 135 729.

Types of emergency

Make sure you know what to do in the event of a boat fire, man overboard and having to abandon your vessel.

You should also be able to recognise the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to reduce the impacts of cold water immersion and seasickness.

Reviewing and practising emergency procedures should be part of your boating habits.

Distress signals

In an emergency you should be aware of how to signal distress. Learn how to use flares, marine radio and distress beacons.

Learn how to use these tools before finding yourself in an emergency.

Safety gear

Make sure you have the required safety equipment on board.


Finally, you need to be aware of your legal responsibilities in terms of reporting marine incidents.

Photo of a man deploying a red flare

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