Role of Skipper

Skipper Questionnaire  

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Skippers have two main roles:

  1. They set the course, allowing the paddler and swimmer to follow them; and
  2. They are responsible for safety of swimmer/s and support crew.

Because the role of skipper is such a significant role in the safety and success of swimmers, ensuring skipper education and awareness is paramount. We highly recommend skippers attend the safety briefing and this year we will require skippers to complete a pre-event questionnaire. The aim of this questionnaire is to ensure skippers are educated and equipped to carry out their role on event day.

Skippers questionnaire

All skippers in the 2020 Rottnest Channel Swim will need to complete a skippers questionnaire which will be available from 31 January 2020.

Finding a support boat

Organising a support boat is often very difficult so it is important to get started in organising your support boat and skipper at least six months prior to the event, especially those swimmers coming from interstate or overseas. Swimmers are required to enter their support boat and skipper details at the time of registration. The options with the best success rate are as follows:

1. Advertise on the RCSA Forum on our website – this has proven to be the most successful method.

2. Post a notice on the wall of the Rottnest Channel Swim Facebook Page.

3. If you know of anyone in Perth, perhaps ask them to ask around on your behalf. Word of mouth is also very successful.

4. Hire a boat. A quick web search is the best way to find a commercial boat hire businesses in Perth although this can become a very expensive method, especially closer to the Event.

5. Advertise in local newpapers /The Quokka.

6. Advertise on Gumtree – FREE online.

Definition of domestic commercial vessel (DCV)
(1) In this Law: domestic commercial vessel means a vessel that is for use in connection with a commercial, governmental or research activity.

Recreational vessels that are hired or hired out are defined as a DCV are in direct violation of the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 and there are significant financial penalties with a minimum fine in excess of $2000.00 for any contravention of the Act by way of an Infringement Notice or prosecution in a court apply.

Any recreational vessel found to be on hire during the Rottnest Channel Swim may result in the vessel being prohibited from operation immediately (withdrawn from swim), along with a breach report forwarded to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

If swimmers are looking to hire a vessel, it will need to be a Domestic Commercial Vessel. Some charter vessels can be found by visiting and

For further information on the Act you can visit the National Regulator at If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Transport (Marine) on 1300 863 308.