by Penny Robins
NSW Maritime has warned boaters of the need for continued caution on flood-affected South Coast waters, some of which have been stripped of navigation markers.
NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn said boaters should continue to take extra care on the waterways such as Shoalhaven and Crookhaven Rivers and the Windang Channel. Conditions on Bermagui Harbour and the Moruya and Clyde Rivers are now considered to be safe for boating although waters are still high.
NSW Maritime has reinstated a number of aids to navigation, such as marker buoys, which were dislodged in recent heavy rains.
'Heavy rains have compromised the system of navigation aids in the Illawarra region and also washed 31 hay bales from nearby farmlands into local waterways,' Mr Dunn said.
'A number of the marker buoys that have been moved out of place are still in the process of being located and reinstated, meaning boaters need to be cautious as some hazards may be unmarked.'
Mr Dunn said NSW Maritime had been working with the Southern Rivers Catchment Authority (SRCMA) to remove hazards which had found their way on to South Coast waters.
'Easter high tides and heavy rain combined to displace a number of large round hay or silage bales – which are 2 metres in diameter and weigh about a tonne - from farmlands around the Shoalhaven River,' he said.
'NSW Maritime has engaged a contractor to remove the plastic and netting that binds the bales together. SRCMA is then organising for the hay to be distributed.'
Reports of large debris as well as damaged, misplaced or missing markers should be phoned through to NSW Maritime by calling 13 12 56 as quickly as possible.
NSW Maritime will issue an all clear when South Coast waterways are considered safe for all boating.