Be careful of our buoys out there!

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Environment Lifestyle Queensland Government Science & Research Tourism Water Sports and Marine Activities


The Palaszczuk Government is calling on all boaties to be careful of its wave monitoring buoys.

Acting Science Minister Coralee O’Rourke said there had been instances over the past few years where boats had collided with the bright yellow buoys, causing significant damage.

“In one incident, a boat unknowingly dragged a buoy back to shore. The skipper didn’t realise until he docked; he thought the drag was due to an engine issue,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“That’s why we’re reminding boaties to give our buoys a wide berth. Each time a buoy is damaged it has to be repaired, and when they’re out of action we’re left blind – so please be careful.”

Queensland Government scientists use wave monitoring buoys, dotted along the Queensland coast, to continuously measure the height, direction and period of waves.

The buoys play an important role in informing a range of people who rely on knowing what the ocean can do, including surfers, divers, lifesavers, fishermen and boat operators.

The data collected is also used in coastal management and engineering, as well as for weather forecasting and monitoring, and assessing storm erosion and peak storm surges.

Principal Scientist for the Coastal Impacts Unit at the Department of Environment and Science John Ryan said the buoys played a vital role in helping to protect lives and property, so it’s important they are not damaged.

“These aren’t just normal buoys, they are high-tech, with very sensitive equipment on board. Any disturbance or interference can have a big impact on a buoy’s work,” Mr Ryan said.

“That’s why we ask that you don’t use them as moorings. Don’t anchor too close to them. And avoid fishing around them too, as we don’t want fishing tackle fouling them up.”

For more information visit and

Acting Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

Queensland Government, Department of Science and Innovation :
GPO Box 5078 Brisbane QLD 4001, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Queensland Government, Department of Science and Innovation
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