Sydney Times

Boating CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT Flooding Information Storm Damage



Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott is urging boaters on the North Coast to stay off waterways until dangerous conditions and extreme weather subside.

“As the severe weather moves into northern NSW, we implore boaters on the Mid and Far North Coast to stay off waterways with moderate to major flooding impacting the region,” Mr Elliott said.

“Submerged debris, strong currents, wild weather, strong winds and big seas are causing treacherous conditions along the coast, while the extreme weather is expected to travel further south to the Mid North Coast.

“Heavy rain is expected to continue and waterways are saturated, with the risk of life-threatening flooding and hazardous submerged debris making boating unsafe.

“We urge boaters to stay off waterways in hazardous conditions because doing so places yourself, your passengers and anyone who attempts to rescue you in the event of misadventure, in danger.

“The significant amount of debris floating downstream is a major threat, as is the likelihood the extreme conditions could have obscured or moved navigation markers to guide skippers around hazards.”

Mark Hutchings, Executive Director NSW Maritime, encouraged boaters to monitor weather conditions, look out for each other, wear a lifejacket at all times and only take to the water when it was safe to do so.

“Skippers must check weather forecasts and only head out on the waterways when the dangerous conditions subside,” Mr Hutchings said.

“In particular, crossing a coastal bar, heading offshore and rock fishing should be avoided.”

Currently across the North Coast flood zone:

  • Dangerous conditions and flooding are being experienced from the Hastings to Tweed rivers.
  • The main area of concern is centred around the Lismore, Tweed and Clarence areas with evacuations taking place.
  • The main rivers affected include the Tweed, Richmond, Brunswick, Clarence, Bellinger, Nambucca, Macleay and Hastings rivers.

Transport for NSW Boating Safety Officers are continuing to assess damage to infrastructure, take note of hazards and reinstate navigation aids, but it will take some time until the process is completed.

Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and everyone onboard.

As severe weather continues to move down the coast of NSW, we remind boaters across the state to:

  • Ensure your boat and equipment are suitable for the conditions.
  • Log on/off with Marine Rescue NSW via marine radio, phone or mobile app.
  • Ensure that you and everyone onboard your vessel is wearing a lifejacket at all times, even if conditions are calm.
  • Ensure your vessel’s mooring is secure because of the potential for strong winds.

To report displaced navigation markers, or vessels washed up on beaches or rocks, call 13 12 36.

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Real-time traffic conditions, including road closures:

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