Boaters urged to postpone non essential boating as clean up continues

24 APRIL 2014

Roads and Maritime Services is urging people to avoid non-essential boating on flood-affected waterways this weekend as the clean up continues from this week’s wild weather.

Maritime Director Angus Mitchell said Roads and Maritime crews were working around the clock to remove debris from the water, reinstate navigation aids and signs and help boat owners recover vessels. Waterways which are most affected by the impacts of flooding are in the Hunter, Central Coast and the upper Parramatta River.

“The rain and wind thankfully has stopped but the danger remains in some waterways,” Mr Mitchell said.

“There are countless items swirling around, some obvious and some submerged, in some of our waterways which can be extremely hazardous to boaters.

“Since Tuesday, our Environmental Services team has been removing an average of 27 cubic metres of debris per day from Sydney Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta rivers.

“This is the equivalent of filling up around 120 wheelie bins and is more than five times the amount of rubbish which is collected daily under normal conditions.

“Debris includes trees, large logs, building materials, small boats like kayaks and tenders and even an entire kitchen cabinet, complete with sink, which was collected from the water off Chiswick yesterday.

“Many of the navigation aids which offer boaters a safe path away from hazards have washed away on the Hawkesbury River and Boating Safety Officers are working hard to reinstate them.

“The Hunter and Williams rivers, Newcastle Harbour, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and the Myall River remain hazardous from a safe navigation point of view.

“The Upper Parramatta River also still has a large amount of debris in the water.

“Unless it is essential to go boating this weekend, our advice is to postpone your trip on these flood-affected waterways as the clean up is going to take a while.

“Sports which require towing such as water skiing or wake boarding could also be extremely hazardous,” Mr Mitchell said.

Members of the community who notice a navigation aid is damaged or washed out of position should call Roads and Maritime on 13 12 36 on weekdays between 8.30am and 5pm or on weekends from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

For more information on boating safety go to and regular boating updates

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit: 8588 5999

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