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Flinders Ports, South Australia’s main port operator, has launched a public safety campaign to urge boaties to stay safe this summer on Port Adelaide’s busy Port River. Large ships that are 300 metres long, or weigh over 100,000 tonnes are now common around Port Adelaide, and this could spell danger for water sports enthusiasts. Captain Carl Kavina, General Manager, Marine Operations, Flinders Ports, confirmed that Flinders Ports welcomes fishing and recreation on the Port River, but is advising small boats to keep clear of the Port River channel and its approaches when large ships are there.

“Boaties are responsible for their own safety and by following a few easy tips they can reduce the risks.” said Captain Kavina.

Start by visiting Flinders Ports’ mobile phone and tablet-friendly website to check out the shipping schedule. This has the latest information on shipping movements and port rules in and around Flinders Ports’ South Australian ports.

“When you are sailing any type of boat, however small, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts,” Captain Kavina said.

Never anchor in a shipping channel – it is illegal and extremely dangerous. Small boats should also avoid sailing in a channel and its approaches when large vessels are using that channel. It is often impossible for big ships to stop or change course to avoid a small boat. Big ships need deep water to navigate safely and must maintain speed to be able to steer. Appearances can be deceptive too. Large vessels are often travelling far faster than they seem to be. The bridge of a large ship can be over 200 metres away from the bow. Her blind spot can be up to one kilometre, so just because you have spotted a big vessel, never assume that her crew has seen your boat.

Finally, if you are out on the water at night or when visibility is poor, always switch on your navigation lights.
Remember keep clear of big ships and be seen. Know the rules and enjoy South Australia’s coastal havens this summer.

For a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating and Safety Handbook call 13 10 84 or visit:
For details on shipping movements at South Australian ports operated by Flinders Ports visit:

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