Wind causes mayhem for boats in Sydney Harbour and Hawkesbury

10 August 2012

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Boating Safety Officers (BSO) in Sydney and the Hawkesbury helped secure multiple recreational vessels yesterday in strong winds.

RMS Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams said from about 10am today blustery conditions on Sydney Harbour saw several yachts and motor boats of all sizes break away from their moorings.

“The worst affected areas were Manly, Little Manly, Botany Bay and La Perouse,” Mr Williams said.

“Officers notified the owners of three large yachts which were washed up on the beach at Little Manly after dragging their anchors or breaking their moorings.”

“A nine metre motor cruiser was secured to a pen at the Cruising Yacht Club after it was found careering through Rushcutters Bay and about to collide with a number of yachts.

“An 18 metre sailing vessel had broken free of its mooring and was secured to an emergency mooring after it was found drifting just south of Cockatoo Island close to the rocks.

“A 10 and a 12-metre motor cruiser were each recovered after they broke away from their moorings in Morrisons Bay on the Parramatta River and the owners of a yacht in Drummoyne and another in Woodford Bay were contacted when their vessels were found having broken their moorings.

BSO were also kept busy providing help in Brisbane Water, Pittwater and the Hawkesbury, Mr Williams said.

He said while it was pleasing that most people had stayed away from the water once the conditions had changed, a kite surfer had been injured on Lake Macquarie.

“Skippers and owners of small craft should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore,” Mr Williams said.

“The Bureau of Meteorology yesterday afternoon issued a dangerous surf conditions warning for the entire NSW coast through to Sunday.

“Dangerous surf conditions can easily translate into dangerous conditions for rock fishing and for vessels crossing coastal bars.

“Strong winds can also mean dangerous conditions for vessels on moorings which have been poorly maintained.

“Once conditions have abated, boat owners should check their vessels and mooring tackle at the earliest and safest opportunity.

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