SCUBA DIVERS FEDERATION of VICTORIA Inc

Boating Speed Restrictions 

The following was extracted from the www.marinesafety.vic.gov.au website May 2002
Original link was:  Speed Restrictions

 On all Victorian Waters:

A 5 knot speed limit applies to boat operators and skiers within a distance of:
  1.  100 metres of a vessel or buoy on which a "Diver Below" signal corresponding to the International Code Flag "A", is displayed. A white/blue flag like the ones shown here:
    • Typical flag as seen in real life
    •   A bit flash 
    • flag image and here is the formal one
  2. 50 metres of another vessel except where both vessels are either
    1. engaged in competitions or in bona fide training organised in accordance with the rules of a State or Nationally recognised water sporting association; or
    2. within a prescribed exclusive area which is set aside for a specific activity in which the width of water prevents the keeping of that distance.
  3. 50 metres of a swimmer or bather;

On all Victorian Coastal Waters or Ports:

A 5 knot speed limit applies to boat operators and skiers under the following conditions:
                        a. within 200 metres of the waters edge unless specifically excluded by Notice
                           or where designated for other purposes;
                        b. within 50 metres of any wharf, jetty, slipway, diving platform or boat ramp;
                        c.  when passing through a recognised anchorage for small craft.
 

On all Victorian Inland Waters

A 5 knot speed limit applies to boat operators and skiers within:
  1. 50 metres of the water's edge unless specifically excluded by notice or where they are designated for other purposes
  2. 50 metres of any fixed or floating structure in or on the water

Speeding, together with alcohol, is one of the principal causes of boating accidents on Victoria's waterways. The Victorian Water Police are empowered to use radar guns to detect speeding boats.
All speeds are measured in knots for the purposes of the Marine Act 1988 and the Regulations.
One knot = 1 nautical mile per hour = 1.852 kilometres per hour.


Note: International visitors to this page may be interested to know that the dive flag symbol above is that of the Australian 'diver below' flag (as distinct from the red and white flag  used in the USA and elsewhere).  The blue and white swallowtail was accepted  in 1961 by the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO) when they reviewed the International Code of Signals.


The following page has a nice clean summary - pity it's a West Australian site, not Victorian:
http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine/rec_boating/regulations/diving.htm
Originally this had a nice diagram showing how the anchor or drift line from a boat/diver can stretch a long way away from the boat - requiring care by passing boat drivers and sailing vessels.
More recent WA diving boating regulations and guide


Last updated 15Oct2002 by Daniel Grimm
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