Good weather prompts warning against boater complacency

Roads and Maritime Services NSW
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Roads and Maritime Services is warning boaters not to be complacent with safety as unseasonally good weather is experienced across NSW.

Roads and Maritime Acting Director Maritime Michael Wright said continued record high temperatures and clear weather being experienced in all corners of NSW during May had resulted in significantly more boating activity.

'The boating season is usually self-limiting, tapering off significantly when the weather gets colder, which is traditionally after Easter,' Mr Wright said.

'Boating Safety Officers on the south coast, Murray River, Hunter region and north coast all report increased activity on the water which is being attributed to the warmer than expected weather.

'In Sydney alone this month, maximum temperatures have been running at an average of 23 degrees, ahead of the 22.7 degree record set in 1958,' he said.

Mr Wright said boaters need to plan their trips carefully and not be complacent because the conditions appear to be good when they wake up in the morning and set off for the day.

'At this time of the year, when the weather changes it is likely to be sudden and we don’t want to see anyone caught out.

'Dangerous surf conditions were experienced earlier this week from Eden to Cape Byron. An incident occurred at Evans Head on Monday night when a father and son lost control of a boat which smashed on rocks. The pair were lucky to be rescued.

'It is important for skippers to use all resources available to them to check the weather before planning a boating trip.

'And it can’t be repeated enough there needs to be sufficient lifejackets for everyone on board and people need to know when to wear one. Lifejackets should be worn at all times in small boats,' Mr Wright said.

Roads and Maritime provides live vision of conditions at 16 locations around Australia – Ballina, Brunswick Heads, Coffs Harbour, Iluka/Yamba, Port Macquarie, South West Rocks, Tweed Heads, Bermagui, Merimbula Bay, Moruya River, Narooma, Sussex Inlet, Shoal Bay in Port Stephens, Swansea, Nobby’s Beach in Newcastle and at Lake Eucumbene – via web cams with footage accessible on the website.

'Vision from these cameras can and should be used by boaters in preparing for a voyage,' Mr Wright said.

To log on and view live footage of conditions, go to website.

For more boating safety information click here.