Wild weather aftermath: Boaters cautioned

8 March 2012

Roads and Maritime Services is alerting boat owners from the Hawkesbury to the South Coast to ensure their moored craft are safe and secure following heavy rains and fresh winds.

Maritime Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams said people who own boats on moorings – in and around Sydney Harbour, the Hawkesbury River, Georges River and the South Coast - need to take extra care to ensure their vessels are safe.

“Fresh to strong winds, heavy rain and now debris floating down some of these busy waterways can all threaten moored craft,” Mr Williams said.

He said a Maritime Boating Officer today had to pump out water from several vessels in Sydney Harbour, including a nine-metre cruiser that was at risk of sinking in Iron Cove.

“A yacht and a houseboat broke free of their moorings in Batemans Bay, and a vessel ran aground after breaking free from its mooring in Eden,” Mr Williams said.

“Winds can cause vessels to break free of their mooring tackle, the rain can fill bilges and debris can entangle mooring lines, cause damage and become hazards to safe navigation.”

“Owners of moorings are required to keep their vessel and the mooring gear in good condition at all times to ensure they can handle these sorts of challenging conditions.”

Mr Williams said regular inspections and routine maintenance can go a long way to preventing serious trouble.

“Of course, people should only go out to their moored craft when it is safe to do so.”

Mr Williams said even though the conditions were expected to abate, the large swell running up the coast would continue to be cause for concern for a few days.

“Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and anyone on board. Always check the weather and ensure vessel is suitable for the conditions.”

“With offshore conditions forecast, the ocean can appear calmer than it really is and skippers need to apply extra caution before heading out onto open or exposed waters.”

“And remember, a lifejacket will only save your life if you wear it,” Mr Williams said.

Share this page: