Boaters cautioned: hidden dangers on flood affected waterways

15 March 2012

Boaters should take extreme caution on waterways impacted by floods, according to Roads and Maritime Services.

Maritime Acting General Manager Boating Safety and Regional Operations Trevor Williams said people in all types of vessels - from small paddle craft through to water-ski boats - need to be extremely cautious on any waterways that have been adversely affected by the recent downpour.

“Heavy rains and flooding cause all sort of debris to enter the waterways,” Mr Williams said.

“This debris can include large trees and other hazards to navigation which may be semi-submerged.”

Mr Williams said there was also a risk that safe navigation markers may have been dislodged or swept away.

“Boating on any flood affected waterway requires extreme caution, even when conditions abate,” he said.

“It is important that people only return to these waterways when it is safe to do so and that extra caution is applied.”

Boaters should:

  • check the weather conditions
  • ensure your boat is suitable for the conditions
  • keep a proper lookout
  • keep to a safe speed for the conditions

Mr Williams said particular care should be taken on waterways such as Burrendong and Wyangala Dams which were at levels in excess of 100 per cent and not seen for many years.

For flood advice, go to

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

For emergency assistance call the SES on 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.

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