Boaties are being urged not to be complacent about severe weather expected along the South-East Queensland coastline over coming days.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said dangerous conditions were expected along the east coast of Fraser Island and the Sunshine Coast from Wednesday morning, moving south to the Gold Coast by afternoon.
“The Bureau of Meteorology advises there will be gale-force winds producing large east to south-easterly swells along parts of the southern Queensland coast from Wednesday,” Mr Bailey said.
“This will create extremely dangerous conditions for boaties and anyone going near open beaches along the southern coastline.
“Locations which may be affected include Noosa, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Coolangatta.
“I urge boaties to postpone planned activities until the weather improves and even then make sure you check before heading out and keep checking while on the water.
“Always let someone such as your local volunteer rescue group, know when you’re leaving and when you’re due back.
“But most importantly, if in doubt – don’t go out.”
Mr Bailey urged boat operators to have an alternative plan to reach shelter in the event they were unable to return to their usual mooring or boat ramp.
“Having enough fuel on board can mean the difference between life and death,” he said.
“Also, the law requires boat owners or skippers to carry appropriatelifejackets for everyone on board and to give each person information about where safety equipment is kept and clearly sign where lifejackets are stowed.
“Failure to carry prescribed safety equipment can result in a fine of $252.
“It is compulsory for children under 12 years to wear a lifejacket when underway in an open boat under 4.8 metres and everyone on board must be wearing a lifejacket when crossing a designated coastal bar.”
Mr Bailey said Maritime Safety Queensland encouraged boaties to wear lifejackets whenever they saw a heightened risk such as bad weather, poor visibility or when in busy boating lanes.
“It’s just common sense to ensure everyone is wearing a properly fitting personal flotation device at any time you’re on the water – especially children,” he said.
“If you aren’t wearing a lifejacket make sure everyone has a jacket, knows where it is and how to wear it.
“And make sure they’re up to date and properly serviced.”
Boats and PWCs operating beyond smooth and partially smooth waters must carry an EPIRB when more than two nautical miles from land.
“Remember, responsible skippers keep flares and EPIRBs in good condition, accessible at all times with clear signs where safety equipment is kept,” Mr Bailey said.
“Make sure you know how to use flares and EPIRBs before you go out on your boat so you’re ready in an emergency and check expiry dates on safety equipment regularly.”
Water levels on the high tide early Wednesday morning were expected to approach or slightly exceed the highest tide of the year along the open beaches but flooding of low-lying areas was not expected.
Check with local Maritime Safety Queensland office, Queensland Water Police or local marine rescue organisations to ensure you meet safety requirements or visit www.msq.qld.gov.au
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey