Maritime Safety Plan
2017 - 2021

8 out of 10
people who drown when boating, are not wearing a life jacket.

The Plan
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NSW’s Waterways Safety Targets
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Through innovation and the pursuit of continual improvements in safety and infrastructure statewide, there is an opportunity to further reduce trauma and enhance quality of life for the maritime public.


30% reduction of fatalities and serious injuries by 2021


ZERO number of fatalities by 2056

The Vision
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Safe System
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Maritime Safe Systems representation in a circle

Improving the Waterways
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Maritime initiatives in the plan are intended to address specific safety issues and reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries, while also increasing access, quality of life and the sustainability of the waterways.

Over the past 10 years to 30 June 2017 there were 117 fatal incidents on state waters, resulting in 132 fatalities. The plan identifies a total of 81 priority actions and listed below are the top 10 priority safety issues as they cause statistically significant incidents.

  • Increasing lifejacket wear
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Towing activities
  • Excess speed
  • Poor judgement
  • Paddle craft
  • Excess alcohol and drugs
  • No proper lookout
  • Cold water
  • Personal water craft (PWC)

Initiatives to ensure safer waterways, speeds, people and vessels need to be implemented together so the waterways system not only keeps us moving, but is safe and protected.

A detailed listing of the committed initiatives and those to investigate can be found from p24 of the Plan pdf.


Man on a motor boat

Wear a Lifejacket
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Man in lifejacket rescuing a person

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Latest News
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Each year an estimated 2 million people, or 25 per cent of the NSW population, take part in recreational boating and watercraft activity.

2 million