Maritime alert - boating safety in adverse weather conditions

29 January 2013

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has issued an alert following the recent heavy rain, large swells and flooding along the east coast of NSW as a result of Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Skippers and owners of small craft should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering any boating activity, particularly crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore.

Flooded rivers can be dangerous for boating as equipment, livestock and debris washed into rivers and creeks is often hard to see in the discoloured water, or can be floating just under the surface. Skippers are reminded to maintain vigilance at all times when boating in these conditions and to ‘maintain a proper lookout’.

Vessels on moorings should be checked for ingress of water and the condition of mooring lines. Vessels should be prepared in advance for adverse weather, attempting to secure vessels in strong wind can be extremely dangerous.

Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and all on board. RMS advises skippers to:

  • Check the official weather forecast before and during boating
  • Ensure the boat and its equipment is suitable for the conditions
  • Log on/off with a Marine Rescue NSW marine radio base for every trip offshore
  • Wear a lifejacket.

For more information:

Offshore boating safety:


Live vision of bar crossings:

Official forecast:

BoM maritime-specific advice:

Boating safety images:

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