In a boating emergency

Radio for help on

Channel 16 on VHF 
(distress and calling channel)

Channel 88 (27.880 MHz) 
on a 27 MHz radio

Call MRNSW on

9450 2468

Or call

MarineRescue App

The new MarineRescue App is making it easier than ever for boaters to Log On, Log Off and stay safe on NSW waters. It's the only app that will connect you directly to Marine Rescue NSW.

General Boat Licence and PWC Licence

Click here for a List of Boat and PWC Licence course dates

Boat courseMany Marine Rescue units offer Boat and PWC Licence courses and tests. These are run by experienced skippers, who can teach you the ins and outs of safe boat handling and help build your confidence in local navigation and pilot rules.

Rates for Marine Rescue courses are extremely competitive and your fees make a valuable contribution to your local unit's funds and our lifesaving services.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is the authority responsible for setting boat licence regulations in this State.

If you drive a recreational boat at a speed of 10 knots (18.5 km/h) or more, you must have a boat driver's licence. Ten knots is the speed at which most accelerating boats will start to plane – that is, rise up and skim on top of the water instead of ploughing through it.

Anyone who drives a personal watercraft (PWC) at ANY speed must have a PWC Licence.

Young Adult Licences also are available for those aged 12 to 16 years.

From 1 July 2016, changes introduced by the NSW Marine Safety Regulation 2016 means that completion of a Boating Safety Course is no longer a requirement of obtaining a general boating licence.

To obtain a General Boat or PWC licence, you must:

  • Successfully complete the RMS boat knowledge test (taken as part of a training course or at any RMS registry or Service NSW centre)
  • Provide evidence of practical boating experience (via a practical boating course with a registered training provider or completion of a practical logbook under supervision of a qualified skipper)

A boat licence will not be issued to you until you have successfully completed both components. For detailed information on what you need to do to get a boat licence, visit

Boating Safety Courses will still be available through Marine Rescue units to provide useful information for operating a vessel and strengthen the capabilities and knowledge of people on the water.

Marine Rescue units will continue to conduct the RMS boat knowledge test. Click here for a List of Boat and PWC Licence course dates.

Once you have passed the test, you will be issued a licence application form stamped by MRNSW, acknowledging the knowledge test was “passed”.  This can be taken to any RMS registry or Service NSW centre to issue your licence.

You should study the Roads & Maritime Boating Handbook before attending the course or undertaking the knowledge test. The handbook is available as a download



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