As the skipper, you are responsible for keeping a proper lookout at all times. You can use this information to judge your situation and make decisions that reduce the risk of collision. This ensures a safe environment for everyone who is on board. When you are on a watch, always look ahead as well as behind you.
Watch for obstacles and hazards in the water so you can avoid colliding with people, other vessels, structures, land, and animals. Give special attention to swimmers and divers, as well as smaller vessels. Be especially careful when driving at night or in poor weather conditions. High speeds and poor visibility increase the risk of an accident.
Proper lookout for other vessels
Keep a sharp lookout for other ships on the water. These can be small vessels such as sailboards, kayaks, and dinghies, and large vessels, such as ships and ferries. In areas where large vessels and high-speed vessels are common, such as Sydney Harbour, take extra care. Keep in mind that large vessels move much faster than they appear to travel. The situation can become out of control very fast.
Proper lookout for people
Keep an eye out for people in the water, including swimmers, divers, snorkellers, and spearfishers. Keep a safe distance between your vessel and them. Keep looking for an Alpha flag that conveys that divers and spearfishers are somewhere in the water. When driving a powered vessel, keep its spinning propellers away from other people.
For submerged and floating hazards
Sandbanks and sunken vessels may pose hazards to traveling vessels. If there is any equipment like lobster pots, oyster leases, or traps they are also hazardous. Be especially careful at night, because these objects do not have lights.
For aquatic animals
Be on the lookout for animals that may be in the water you are crossing. Native animals, birds and reptiles in NSW are protected by state laws. It is imperative that you do not harm the animals.