Boaties advised to take extra care with dangerous surf conditions and heavy rain forecast

6 February 2020

Boaters are advised to take extra care with dangerous surf conditions and heavy rain forecast in the Sydney, northern and mid-north coasts until Sunday. 

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said while rain is already falling in much of NSW, the forecast is for conditions to deteriorate further from tomorrow due to a large trough being fed by tropical air from the north and high pressure system to the south.

“Local flash flooding is expected which may particularly impact the Georges River and Hawkesbury River,” Mr Hutchings said.

“Skippers and owners of small boats should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore.

“While conditions are expected to ease by Sunday, there may be an increase in the ocean swell and crossing ocean bars will be a challenge for navigation.”

Rock fishers should also check weather forecasts before heading out, avoid fishing near dangerous surf and wear a lifejacket.

Mr Hutchings said boat operators could expect choppy rough conditions on larger, more exposed bays and inlets.

“There is a high risk of boats dragging or breaking free of moorings, especially in areas exposed to the Northern, Mid-North coast and eastern parts of northern tablelands.

“Visibility is always reduced in heavy rain along with the risk of flooding of waterways with stronger currents, higher water levels, damage to infrastructure such as navigational markers and floating debris,” Mr Hutchings said.

Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and all on board. Skippers should check the official weather forecast before and during boating and ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’, along with:

  • Ensuring the boat and its equipment is suitable for the conditions
  • Ensuring the vessel/ mooring is secure due to the strong winds
  • Log on/ off with a Marine Rescue NSW marine radio base for every trip offshore
  • Wear a lifejacket. 

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