Out of event crossings

4 min read

We have been advised that the FPA are not approving applications for Out of Event Crossings at this time. As we do not have an ETA as to when the FPA will begin the approval process again, we are not currently accepting any Out of Event Crossing applications. All previous Out of Event Crossing applicants will receive an email notification when applications re-open.

Please note, the waters between Rottnest Island and the mainland form part of the Fremantle Port Authority’s outer harbour. As per Port Authorities Regulations 2001, Part 5, Section 89; a person must not swim in the waters of a port without an exemption or risk incurring a financial penalty.

Thinking about completing an Out of Event Crossing? Listed below are the steps you need to follow to get the required approvals from relevant authorities, ensure that your successful crossing can be ratified by the Rottnest Channel Swim Association (RCSA) Committee and have it added to the Official Solo Crossing Records list.


  • Submit an Out of Event Crossing application through Active.
    • Please Note: A maximum window of seven (7) days is permitted to allow selection of the best crossing conditions. Once your application has been approved with the FPA you will be unable to change your swim window.
    • Fremantle Port Authority (FPA) approval permits one crossing attempt within the approved window only. If swimming in a group, each swimmer must submit their own FPA authority request form.
    • Applications for Out of Event Crossings incur a non-refundable $50 processing fee per swimmer.
    • If the swimmer is under the age of 18, a parental guardian will need to create the application, by selecting the registration category Swimmer (Under 18) – Parental Guardian and providing their personal details. The parental guardian can then register the under 18 swimmer as an Additional Swimmer.
  • Before being permitted to attempt a crossing, the RCSA must be satisfied that you are qualified to do so. To qualify to swim you must:
    • Have completed a previous Rottnest Channel Swim, in or out of Event, in the past two years.
    • Have completed an alternative open water swim event that is of the same distance or greater than the Rottnest Channel Swim crossing in the past two years.
    • Have completed a qualifying swim in the last three months. A ‘qualifying swim’ is a 10km open water swim completed in an event in less than 4 hours 15 mins. The RCSA will ask you to submit proof of your finishing race time.
  • Once you have qualified to swim, you will need to submit the FPA authority request form and get your observer, skipper and, if desired, an additional swim to join your application (this is all completed within Active). To ensure your application has enough time to be processed, it is recommended that this is completed within three (3) days of submitting your application.
  • Once the FPA authority request form has been received and all team members have been allocated, the RCSA will then submit the application to the FPA.
  • The RCSA will contact you to let you know the outcome of your application with the FPA and advise further specific instructions.

Having trouble registering? Check out our How To guides:

Approved / Denied

Application denied: If your application is denied, the RCSA will contact you to notify you of the decision. Unfortunately, there is no refund of the processing fee if the application is denied.

Application approved: If your application is approved, the RCSA will contact you to notify you of the decision and will specify the approved window.

Please note: An FPA approval permits one (1) crossing attempt within the approved window only.

The RCSA will send you the following approval documents via email:

  • FPA authority request form: Approved and signed by the Harbourmaster
  • Approval notification letter/email
  • Further specific instructions

Once you have decided on the departure date, time and location, you must notify the RCSA (this must be at least one business day before your swim attempt), who will then relay this information to Fremantle Port Operations and the Fremantle Signal Tower.

If you are swimming on the weekend, you must notify the RCSA by COB the Friday before.

On the day of the attempt

On the morning of the swim, your skipper/support crew is required follow the below procedure:

  • The skipper must contact Fremantle VTS via VHF Channel 12 prior to the nominated starting time to confirm the immediate port movements and ensure minimal interference with any operations.
  • They must confirm that all persons are aware of the requirements and will abide by these throughout.
  • Support craft are to monitor VHF Channel 12 when in port areas.
  • Support craft must follow port regulations and have due regard for all speed restrictions and safety navigation.
  • Support craft must remain a minimum of 50 metres from all commercial vessels and berths. Failure to maintain this distance is a security breach under Maritime Security.
  • The skipper must contact Fremantle VTS via VHF Channel 12 if any incident takes place and if any assistance is required. A full report on all incidents involving will be required.

Fremantle VTS is manned 24/7 and can be contacted on VHF Channel 12 or on 9431 6333.

Post swim

The previously approved observer is required to submit an Observer Declaration Form. Don’t forget to snap a photo at the finish line to upload with your details of swim attempt form.

  • Your observer will need to submit the Observer Declaration Form within seven (7) days of the attempt.
  • If you successfully completed the crossing, the RCSA will table the details of your attempt at the next Committee meeting for ratification.
  • Once ratified, your crossing will be added to the Official Solo Crossing Records and published on the Rottnest Channel Swim Association website.