Community News

Sail safely near electricity on the water

Essential Energy is encouraging boating enthusiasts and recreational fisherman to consider electrical safety on the water when setting sail.

Regional Manager Brendon Neyland, said overhead powerlines were often located close to marinas and car parks where boats and watercraft are launched.

“Some simple checks before you take to the water can help to keep you and your crew safe around electricity,” Mr Neyland said.

“Look for signage warning of powerlines in the area as tall masts and aerials can contact the wires when boats are being launched or retrieved.”

“Always keep an eye on the weather as powerlines can sway in the wind and vessels be blown into overhead powerlines.”

“Clearance distances will also reduce during king tides, floods or when hot weather causes power lines to sag,” Mr Neyland added.

Submarine cables can pose a hazard to fishermen and boaters, especially when dropping and raising anchors or when water levels covering the cables are particularly low.

“Carry a mobile phone or two-way radio to call for assistance if your boat contacts a powerline or a submarine cable. The safest approach is to stay in the boat and dial Triple-0 – don’t jump into the water,” Mr Neyland said.

“If your boat is made of fibreglass, do not touch any metal parts, including the mast or guys that are in contact with the powerline.”

“Look up and live” stickers are available from NSW Roads and Maritime Service, major boat sheds and sailing clubs for attaching to vessels to record their height.

For further information on electricity safety, visit