Maritime Alert: Flooding

2 March 2012

Boat owners and skippers are reminded to keep clear of flood affected waterways which are impacting much of NSW, according to Roads and Maritime Services.

Maritime Acting Manager Boating Safety and Regional Operations Craig Whitmore said three people had a fortunate escape earlier today when their small boat capsized on the Darling River, near Bourke.

“Flooded rivers carry a lot of debris and there will be navigation markers that are out of position as well as sand banks and obstructions that may have shifted,” Mr Whitmore said.

“Skippers are advised to keep clear of any waterways in flood. Only vessels used for emergency operations should be out on such waters.

“People also need to appreciate that with rising water levels, clearances with overhead powerlines can be reduced and people need to be alert to that additional risk until conditions return to normal.

“The SES advise ‘never drive, ride, walk or play in floodwater’ and the same goes for vessels … don’t boat in floodwater.”

The impact of such heavy rain in the catchments can remain for days, weeks, or even months on our inland waterways.

Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their boat and the people on board.

For flood advice, go to http://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/community-safety/floodsafe/

Significant navigation hazards and damaged or missing navigation markers should be reported to the Maritime Info Line 13 12 56 (open business hours, seven days a week).

For emergency assistance call the SES on 132 500.

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