Boaters urged to play it safe on the water
BOATERS are being urged to check forecast weather and sea conditions before heading out this weekend, with a strong southerly changed expected to create hazardous conditions on Sunday as it heads up the NSW coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised there is a strong wind warning for the Coffs and Byron coasts, with seas of up to 3m.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said predicted heatwave conditions along the coast this weekend were expected to attract many boaters to the coast seeking relief from the oppressive conditions.
“Marine Rescue volunteers are frequently called to help boaters who find themselves in serious trouble after misjudging weather and sea conditions and not heeding weather warnings,” he said.
“It’s vital that you check weather and sea conditions before heading out and regularly throughout the day as conditions may change quickly.
“You can also call your local Marine Rescue base on VHF Channel 16 at any time for an update on current and forecast weather and sea conditions.”
Commissioner Tannos added that boaters should plan to be back at anchor ahead of the predicted change’s arrival.
“Boating in poor weather accounted for 33 fatalities in the 10 years to June 30, 2020 and commonly results in preventable situations like passengers falling overboard or capsizes,” Mr Tannos said.
“That’s why boaters this weekend should plan their time on the water so they are safely back at anchor ahead of the arrival of any predicted severe weather.”
Commissioner Tannos said it was important for boaters to understand the limits of their vessel for the forecast conditions and to follow the simple advice: if in doubt, don’t go out.
“We urge anyone heading out on the water to Log On with Marine Rescue NSW as they head out on VHF Channel 16 or the free MarineRescue App so our volunteers can keep watch. If you’re not back safely as planned, we’ll start to search for you,” he said.
“It’s also vital to make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket.”