Safety update

May 2003 Keeping a lookout by all available means

This safety update is issued to highlight the importance of keeping a proper lookout.


In a recent case investigated by Maritime New Zealand, a small charter boat, was 'anchored' to a cray pot line whilst the passengers fished. This boat was involved in a near miss (by 20-30 metres) with a coastal vessel about 5 miles off the New Zealand coast. It was daylight at the time and visibility was reported to be good. A collision was avoided only by the action of the charter boat skipper, when he moved clear at the last moment.

Precautions and procedures

Watch keepers are reminded of the importance of keeping a proper lookout by all available means. This includes both visually, and by the appropriate use of radar, including the setting of guard alarms where available. Mariners are advised that small vessels are now found some distance offshore and that a careful lookout must be kept at all times. This is particularly important as many of these vessels do not provide a good radar echo, are not fitted with radar reflectors, and their size and hull/cabin colour makes them difficult to observe.

Original source content - Boat Notice 022003, May: Keeping a lookout by all available means.

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