South Coast boaties reminded to take extra care with more than 110 navigation markers 'Off Station'

18 August 2020

Boaters are reminded not to rely on a single system of navigation with work under way to reinstate 113 navigation markers on south coast waterways after two bouts of wild weather.

Transport for NSW A/ Executive Director Maritime Alex Barrell said work had almost been completed to reinstate a series of buoys in the Shoalhaven River and Jervis Bay from wild weather at the end of July.

“Boaters should always have a secondary form of navigation such as a chart, map or electronic plotter as these weather events happen every few months – the last time was February,” Mr Barrell said.

“These markers are normally held in place by chains, connected to weights of several hundreds of kilograms. Adding more weight is not necessarily the answer to preventing these kinds of incidents as that could result in more collateral damage to other items such as bridges, and the marker itself.

“A starboard lateral marker travelled a couple of kilometres before being captured in old infrastructure on a jetty at the old paper mill, adjacent to Pig Island on the Shoalhaven River.

“Two or three other markers each travelled around 20 kilometres and eight buoys also became entangled in the cables of the Pig Island car ferry.”

Transport for NSW Boating Safety Officers have reported a variety of navigation markers either washed from their location, missing or damaged at:

  • Shoalhaven River - 80 navigation markers
  • St. Georges Basin/ Sussex Inlet - 9 navigation markers
  • Clyde River – 11 navigation markers
  • Moruya River - 11 navigation markers
  • Batemans Bay – 2 navigation markers

Mr Barrell said of the 80 markers which had been affected on the Shoalhaven River, most had been from locations upstream of the Nowra Bridge.

“The upside is there is not a lot of boating activity at this location in winter. However, in summer this part of the river is full of skiers and wake boarders,” he said.

Members of the public can report navigation markers out of their original location, or vessels washed up on beaches or rocks on 13 12 36.

For more information on boating safety visit Maritime website

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