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A Firm Definition Of The Laws Is Needed


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Hi All

Whilst out yesterday maritime did a blitz. Greg(skipper) was booked as we were caught by fisheries 200ms off the gap. We Were booked for being in open water without the necessary offshore safety gear. The reasons we were given,

A) Need offshore charts (no mention of this on the maritime website)

B) We were in "open waters"

This is in direct contradiction of maritime maps I have pulled up, where "open" waters is defined as a line

from Middle Head Nth, to middle head Sth. Just to push the limits. pity all the other buggers who duck into

North Harbour or head south into the main harbour. You are being targeted.

C) Finally all craft need necessary safety gear when crossing this line, and I know alot of yak boys so I

dunno your position but I know ours. :1badmood:

I have written a letter to the DPI to define the exact rules as I dont know but this is a very grey area, and if we were in the wrong, so be it, we will pay the fine,,,, When it arrives in the mail

Any light others can shed on this would be greatly appreciated as I have searched maritime, open waters, and safety gear, and I have found alot of "grey" areas. Just want to know the facts, in the meantime, when and if this infringement appears in the mail it will be paid. Just very annoyed considering maritime pulled us up at the same spot for a safety check less than 3 weeks ago and nothing was said.



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OUCH , i'm always fishing around there & never been touched must do some more checking on this cause i don't wont the FINE either.but i have several charts but never been asked for them, i think u were hard done by or they needed a quota for the day & u were there target

cheers john

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Here is the link for the necessary safety equipment that is required. It says all boats in open water need the maps. Also states that kayaks are exempt from all safety equipment except a life jacket which must be worn if more than 400m from nearest shoreline...


As for the open water line, see this link.


Open water is anything past cannae pt and south head, which means if your fishing quarantine your in open water i believe...

Edited by dicko
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Its not really Grey. As Dicko has pointed out the Boating Handbook is clear on the safety requirements needed. Where people fall down with the rules is the open water bit. Maritime have pulled me up fishing near Jibbon for the same reason, difference was I was given a stern talking to and told to head back in a bit. I guess you just got them on a bad day.


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INteresting about the open waters bit.....i am tipping they could have a field day any weekend if they wanted to....suday morning there was a 12 foot tinnie and many other small boats sitting outside the heads.... its doubtful they had even half of that gear.....i am clear on it all except for the fire bucket? Never heard of it and never been asked for it? Anyone know whats in it.....$30 odd bucks at boating shop. Bad luck on the fine too as i have been fishing off sydney for 20 years and never ever been pulled over whilst outside... how much was the fine guuna be?

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Interesting post . I note that the bailer bucket can double for the fire bucket which means only one bucket is necessary.

In respect to the map , is the one shown in dicko post considered acceptable as it only covers part of the coast line & seaward for a short distance or are full maritime navagation maps required .

I have checked the maritime web site & the only reference I can find is the map as shown in dicko's post


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A fire bucket's just a bailing bucket with a rope attached so you can haul up some water and a fire extinguisher is needed for most of us now.

The "Coastal Map 9" indicates it's acceptable as a chart, I really believe their splitting hairs if they don't accept the Port Jackson map, I suggest a polite letter might get you off if you have a clean record.

Edited by zook2001
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There is an important reminder from Greg getting fined. The legislation is even more detailed than shown in the Boating handbook, most people dont know where to find it, let alone read or understand it or realise it gets changed occasionally (which is no defense in a court). See http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/ and "Search" "In force" for the Marine Safety (General) Regulation 2009

Not only do you need to carry the safety equip, but it must be to the required standard, be in good condition, maintained, within expiry dates, stored/placed for quick and easy access and you must ensure that each person on board the vessel is aware of where the equipment (required by this Regulation to be carried on the vessel) is stored or placed. See clause 84 of the Regs

(my bolded text)

In relation to the fire bucket/bailer Bucket with lanyard - The bucket must be suitable for bailing water out of the vessel, as well as collecting water for use in case of fire. The bucket must be manufactured from metal or a robust plastic or robust canvas (for example, a Wallaby bucket), and be designed so as not to collapse, distort or lose the handle when full of water. The bucket must not be used for any other purpose and must be readily available at all times. The bucket must have a lanyard (rope) attached of significant length to allow the bucket to be cast over the side and retrieved full of water..

Looks like they got you for two items, given the $250 fine (level 2). It should indicate on the PIN what you were fined for.

93 Penalty notice offences and penalties

4) For the purposes of this Regulation, penalty amounts are expressed in terms of the following levels:

Level 2 means a penalty of $250.

Schedule 7 Penalty notice offences

Clause 84 (1) in respect of one item of equipment Level 1

Clause 84 (1) in respect of more than one item of equipment 2

As part of my boat checks, I usually check my young bloke knows where stuff is and get him to help me checks its OK.

Looks like part of this weekends chores might be to check the boat/gear in more detail, I know the flares were bought a while back and I have been using my bucket for keeping yakkas in :( .


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