On Apr 2, 2021

Exercise care on the water this Easter

Boaters along the NSW coastline are being urged to exercise extreme caution if they are on the water over Easter.

Debris from the floods continues to create hazards for boaters as it washes down waterways and out to sea and navigation aids and channel markers have been displaced or lost.

Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell said MRNSW volunteers were on duty over the four-day break, both on the water and in the network of radio bases from the Queensland border to Eden.

“On this Good Friday morning, our crews at Marine Rescue Wooli and Marine Rescue Batemans Bay already have responded to three incidents, including three people thrown into the water when their tinny sank off Arrawarra Headland,” he said.

“We know boaters will be keen to get out in the great conditions for a last time before the cold weather sets in but we need them to keep a careful watch for dangerous debris and to take the time to do their safety checks and ensure they have the required safety equipment on board.

“He urged all boaters to Log On and Log Off with MRNSW via VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue App.

“Logging On is quick, easy and free. It gives you the peace of mind to enjoy your day while our professionally trained and resourced volunteers keep watch for your safe return. If you’re not back as expected, we will start to search for you.”

Deputy Commissioner Barrell said it was vital for everyone on board to be wearing an appropriate lifejacket at all times on the water.

“If the worst happens and you end up in the water, a lifejacket can keep you afloat until help arrives. It can save your life – but only if you have it on,” he said.

“Make sure your boat is still in good nick if you had it out over summer and check you have a full tank of fuel. Almost two-thirds of the rescues MRNSW crews performed over summer were caused by engine failure, flat batteries and fuel problems, including boaters simply running the tank dry.”

NSW Maritime has placed signs at selected boat ramps to alert boaters of dangerous conditions, debris, displaced navigation aids and channel markers, as well as damaged structures.

Due to the large amount of debris still circulating in the river system, a temporary speed limit of 15 knots applies for all waters west of the Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge at Brooklyn, including parts of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, and their tributaries.

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