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Captain Carl Kavina, General Manager of Marine Operations at Flinders Ports, confirmed that Flinders Ports welcomes fishing and recreation on the Port River, but is advising small boats to stay well clear of the Port River channel and its approaches when large ships are manoeuvring.

Ships that are 300 metres long, weighing over 100,000 tonnes are now common around Port Adelaide. Sailing around these massive ships can have many hidden dangers, and it is important that boaties know their responsibilities and do not become complacent.

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

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

Understand your responsibilities

Get a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating and Safety Handbook by calling 13 10 84 or visiting You can also download a fact sheet from for information on staying safe on the water around Port Adelaide.

Know who is about:

Before you head out on the water in Port Adelaide, 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.

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.

Be seen

The bridge of a large ship can be over 100 metres away from the bow. Her blind spot span up to one kilometre in front of the ship, so just because you have spotted a big vessel, never assume that her crew has seen your boat. If you are out on the water at night or when visibility is poor, always switch on your navigation lights.

Remember to 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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