A string of weather-related rescues over the weekend and this morning has prompted a call from Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Operations Alex Barrell for boaters to check forecast weather conditions before heading out on the water.
Over the weekend Marine Rescue NSW responded to 65 emergency requests, with a third relating to boats affected by the strong winds that developed during Sunday and Monday.
Weather-related rescues included a 15 metre cabin cruiser on the Shoalhaven River that broke its mooring and threatened to crash into oyster leases before being secured, a Jet Ski rider on Port Hacking who was unable to return passengers across the bay due to waves whipped up by the wind and required assistance, two kayakers near Lilli Pilli unable to make headway in the wind, two barges that broke their moorings on the Macleay River requiring them to be secured to emergency moorings, and two boaters who had to be rescued on Broken Bay and returned to their yacht after their tinnie was unable to make headway to shore in the wild conditions.
Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Operations Alex Barrell praised the work of Marine Rescue NSW crews who braved the weekend’s difficult conditions, and said that it was fortunate that the wild weather did not cause any injuries.
“Before heading out on the water it is vital that boaters check the latest weather forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology. These are regularly updated, and give boaters the information they need to determine whether it is safe enough to head out, and when to return to shore,” Deputy Commissioner Barrell said.
“Ahead of forecast strong winds boaters should check moorings are secure, and tie down or store any loose items on their vessel.”
Deputy Commissioner Barrell added that as conditions can change quickly, it was important to check weather conditions regularly throughout the day, and to know the limitations of your vessel and your own abilities.
“Boaters often over-estimate their own ability and that of their vessel in poor weather, so if weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate, play it safe and head in before bad weather hits.”
“Out on the water you can also call your local Marine Rescue NSW radio base on VHF Channel 16 and get the latest and forecast weather conditions, and advice on local places where it’s safest to ride out bad weather, and of course, ensure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket at all times,” he added.