NSW Maritime alert Dangerous boating conditions

Maritime alert: Dangerous boating conditions

NSW Maritime advises that heavy rain has created dangerous boating conditions in many rivers and creeks along the NSW coast and that conditions will stay hazardous for days to come.

NSW Maritime’s Recreational Boating General Manager Brett Moore said numerous waterways were affected from Tweed to Moruya.

“The rain has been torrential in some parts and such downpours flush all sorts of debris into the river systems,” Mr Moore said.

“Most of the debris is organic but it includes fallen trees and branches which often float semi-submerged.

“This sort of debris will create a danger to people in boats for days or even weeks to come even after the rain stops and water levels return to normal.“

Mr Moore said skippers should avoid flood waters.

“Once water levels subside, it is important people in boats take extreme care until they are confident the waterway is clear of hazards,” he said.

“Fast flowing water and obstacles can also wash away or dislodge safe navigation markers and this is another reason for caution.

“The system of navigation markers is like the traffic signs of the waterways and flood water can knock them out of place or wash them away completely.”
Basic safety advice from NSW Maritime includes:

•    check the conditions before you go;
•    ensure your boat is suitable;
•    if in doubt, don’t go out; and
•    at times of heightened risk, wear your lifejacket.

Any reports of damaged, dislodged or missing navigation markers should be reported as soon as possible to the Maritime Info Line on 13 12 56 seven days a week between 8.30am and 4.30pm.