With the peak boating season about to begin, boaters are being urged to put safety first by checking in with Marine Rescue Port Stephens before heading out on the water.
Checking weather forecasts, logging on and off and ensuring your boat is in good order and there are enough lifejackets onboard are some simple precautions boaters could undertake before heading out.
The Marine Rescue unit's commander Colin Foote said that Port Stephens volunteers would be on duty to serve the boating public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Our hard working volunteers will be keeping watch, poised to respond to emergencies on the water," he said.
"The number one priority is to check conditions by consulting the latest marine weather forecast and if in doubt don't go out.
"Number two is to ensure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket. There are styles to suit all sorts of activities on the water, and special ones for small children and pets.
"Number three is to log on and off by contacting MRPS by VHF marine radio, which we recommend for its superior coverage and reception, by phone on 4981 3585 or via the free, easy to use Marine Rescue app for smartphones and tablets.
"Number four is to check your vessel is in good working order. Check your motor and marine radio are in good operating order, make sure the battery is fully charged, you have enough fuel and the required safety equipment on board."
In a life-threatening emergency call 000 or make a mayday call on your marine radio on VHF channel 16.