Postpone boating: North and north-west NSW waterways

25 January 2012

Roads and Maritime Services is advising boaters to keep clear of hazardous conditions in waterways across the north and north-west of NSW as a result of fast flowing flood waters and continuing rainfall.

Maritime Services Acting General Manager Operations Trevor Williams said there were nine flood warnings current for several NSW waterways, including the Tweed, Richmond-Wilsons, Clarence, Bellinger, Hastings, Orara, Barwon-Darling, Brunswick and Nambucca rivers.

A flood watch is also current for the Hastings and Macleay rivers. A severe thunderstorm was also current for people to keep clear of creeks and storm drains in inland, western NSW including Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Hay, Tibooburra, Cobar and Bourke.

“Boaters need to be aware that flood waters are likely to be loaded with debris and stripped of navigation markers which indicate hazards in normal conditions,” Mr Williams said

“Boating activity should only be undertaken on flood affected waterways in emergency situations, and not begin again until flood waters have dissipated.”

“Submerged and semi-submerged hazards, such as tree branches and fences, can create major hazards for boaters during and post flooding.

“People should keep off these waterways unless absolutely necessary until conditions return to normal,” he said.

“When conditions return to normal boaters should also be aware that navigation aids may be misplaced or missing due to the floods and that means taking extra care when returning to these rivers,” he said.

Mr Williams said a trawler sank at its mooring near the Evans Head boat ramp this morning, as heavy rain fell on the area.

With more heavy rainfall and storm conditions forecast for a large part of the State, the Bureau of Meteorology website should be monitored for the latest advice. www.bom.gov.au.

For more information on boating safety, go to www.maritime.nsw.gov.au

To report a missing navigation marker, phone 13 12 56.

Media contact: Penny Robins 0457 756 797

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