Safety Alert Notice

Small Boats* on Lake Burley Griffin

Lighting Rules

*Boat includes launch, yacht, canoe, raft, pontoon and anything capable of carrying persons or goods through or on water

If you are an owner or user of a small boat/vessel the following information is provided to ensure your safety, the safety of others and the prevention of navigation incidents on Lake Burley Griffin.

Recreational and competitive owners and operators of small craft should be aware of, and comply with, the Lighting Rules as set out in Part V, Division 1 of the Lakes Ordinance 1979.

These rules enhance maritime safety and navigation on Lake Burley Griffin. Penalties apply for non compliance.

Whilst the lighting rules apply between the hours of sunset and sunrise it is important that they are also applied during twilight, fog or other poor lighting conditions as small craft may not be visible by other users of the Lake, whether anchored or underway.

Light to be carried by small power boat (Section 39)

A power boat that is less than 5 metres long and underway or anchored between the hours of sunset and sunrise shall show:

  • a white light visible at a distance of 1.50 kilometres
  • in the event of a failure of a required light, show in place an electric torch or lantern

Lights to be carried by sailing vessels (Section 39A)

A sailing vessel underway or anchored between the hours of sunset and sunrise shall show:

  • on the starboard side, an unbroken green light, visible at a distance of not less than 1.5kms, over an arc of the horizon of 10 points of the compass, or 112 ½ degrees, from right ahead of 2 points of the compass or 22 ½ degrees, abaft the beam on the starboard side
  • on the port side an unbroken red light, visible at a distance of not less than 1.5 kms, over an arc of the horizon of 10 points of the compass or 22 ½ degrees, abaft the beam on the starboard side
  • at the stern of the boat, an unbroken white light, visible at a distance of not less than 3kms, over an arc of the horizon of 12 points of the compass, or 135 degrees, from right aft to 6 points of the compass, or 67 ½ degrees, from right aft on each side of the boat.
  • an electric torch or lantern in the event of a failure of a required light.

Please note that it is sufficient compliance if the green light and the red light are shown together in a combined lantern not less than 0.50 metres below the bright white light.

Lights to be carried by small unpowered craft (canoes, kayaks, dinghies, rafts, row boats or anything capable of carrying persons or goods through or on water) (Section 40)

  • whilst not legally required, in the interest of safe boating on Lake Burley Griffin it is recommended that all craft shall show a white light visible at a distance of 1.5 kms; and that
  • emergency lights such as a torch or lantern are ready for immediate use.

Please ensure that lights be placed so as not to interfere with the vision of the vessel's occupants.

In poor or failing light conditions, if lighting is not available, the boating activity should not proceed. If there is doubt - don't go out.

For more information refer to the Lakes Ordinance 1976 -

For information on Lake Burley Griffin swimming courses contact NCA on 6271 2888.

Safety Note. 55523 30 September 2009

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