Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has raised an alert following the recent heavy rain, large swells and flooding along the eastern shore of New South Wales as a result of Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald.
Skippers and owners of small craft should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering any boating activity, particularly crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore.
Flooded rivers can be dangerous for boating as equipment, livestock and debris washed into rivers and creeks is often hard to see in the discoloured water, or can be floating just under the surface. Skippers are reminded to maintain vigilance at all times when boating in these conditions and to ‘maintain a proper lookout’.
Vessels on moorings should be checked for ingress of water and the condition of mooring lines. Vessels should be prepared in advance for adverse weather, attempting to secure vessels in strong wind can be extremely dangerous.
Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and all on board. RMS advises skippers to:
· Check the official weather forecast before and during boating
· Ensure the boat and its equipment is suitable for the conditions
· Log on/off with a Marine Rescue NSW marine radio base for every trip offshore
· Wear a lifejacket.