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Boaters Urged To Play It Safe With Strong Change Forecast

Boaters are being urged to check forecast weather and sea conditions before heading out this weekend, with a strong southerly changed expected to create hazardous conditions on Sunday as it heads up the NSW coast.

Ahead of Sunday’s change, the Bureau of Meteorology have advised that on Saturday strong sea breezes along the coast, especially during the afternoon, are likely to whip up seas and provide challenging conditions, particularly for inexperienced boaters.

Sunday’s strong southerly change is predicted to move through south coastal waters in the morning, reaching Sydney by mid to late afternoon.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said predicted heatwave conditions along the coast this weekend were expected to attract many boaters to the coast seeking relief from the oppressive conditions.

“Marine Rescue volunteers are frequently called to help boaters who find themselves in serious trouble after misjudging weather and sea conditions and not heeding weather warnings,” he said.

“It’s vital that you check weather and sea conditions before heading out and regularly throughout the day as conditions may change quickly.

“You can also call your local Marine Rescue base on VHF Channel 16 at any time for an update on current and forecast weather and sea conditions.”

Commissioner Tannos added that boaters should plan to be back at anchor ahead of the predicted change’s arrival.

“Boating in poor weather accounted for 33 fatalities in the 10 years to 30 June, 2020 and commonly results in preventable situations like passengers falling overboard or capsizes,” Mr Tannos said.

“That’s why boaters this weekend should plan their time on the water so they are safely back at anchor ahead of the arrival of any predicted severe weather ,” he added.

Commissioner Tannos said it was important for boaters to understand the limits of their vessel for the forecast conditions and to follow the simple advice: if in doubt, don’t go out.

“We urge anyone heading out on the water to Log On with Marine Rescue NSW as they head out on VHF Channel 16 or the free MarineRescue App so our volunteers can keep watch. If you’re not back safely as planned, we’ll start to search for you.

“It’s also vital to make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket.”

Photo: Marine Rescue volunteers ready for action this weekend.

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