Boaters urged to stay off waters in dangerous weather
Boaters in New South Wales are being urged to stay off waterways until gale force winds and rough seas subside.
NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the Bureau for Meteorology has issued a warning for extremely strong westerly wind gusts of more than 90 kilometres per hour (47 knots).
“We implore boaters to stay off waterways in these treacherous conditions. Simply put, it is not safe to be on the water in weather like this,” Mr Hutchings said.
Strong and gale force wind warnings for today cover the Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast, Eden Coast, Sydney Enclosed Waters, Byron Coast and Macquarie Coast.
“Being on the waterways in hazardous conditions will place yourself, your passengers – and anyone who attempts to rescue you in the event of misadventure – in extreme danger,” Mr Hutchings said.
He also warned boaters of the risks of hypothermia if they end up in the water.
“If you capsize while fatigued, you might not get back onto your vessel, increasing your chances of suffering severe hypothermia and ending up in hospital – or worse. Cold waters can kill.”
In order to reduce the risks associated with cold water, boaters should always be prepared, plan their trip and wear a lifejacket. Wearing a lifejacket helps to manage cold shock, conserve energy and can give a person more time to get back into their vessel or for assistance to arrive.
Mr Hutchings 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.
“I would like to remind masters of vessels that safe navigation is ultimately their responsibility – taking into account a range of factors including the size of their vessel, tides, water depths and the speed at which they travel. Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and everyone onboard.”