STORM READY: Gladstone Water Police Sergeant Jeff Barnett says preparation is essential for boat owners.
STORM READY: Gladstone Water Police Sergeant Jeff Barnett says preparation is essential for boat owners.

Bad weather prompts safety check warning for boaties

AFTER Tropical Cyclone Dylan whipped up some wild weather in the region recently, it's as good a time as any to keep an eye on your floating assets.

Officer in charge of Gladstone District Water Police Sergeant Jeff Barnett said while the majority of vessels made it through last week's storms unscathed, he advised boat owners to take the time to ensure their vessels were ready to withstand potential cyclones that may develop this season.

"Those with moored or on-anchor vessels and those bigger ones in the Boyne River, Colosseum inlet, it's a good policy to get a commercial diver to check your mooring and mooring block for you," Sgt Barnett said.

He advised that it was an ideal time to refresh and renew safety details with Maritime Safety Queensland, as well as the Gladstone Volunteer Marine Rescue, as his team had been on patrols, targeting registration details of local vessels.

"At the start of December we underwent an operation targeting regos and checking details and people need to know that severe penalties apply if those details aren't kept updated," he said.

Sgt Barnett said mooring lines and anchor lines should also be checked, as well as ensuring all watertight hatches were in place.

"People need to make sure their vessels are in a seaworthy condition."

Golden Rules

  • Check mooring and anchor lines are suitable, put more out if necessary
  • Check vessel registration, safety details etc are up to date
  • Update info with VMR and MSQ
  • Have mooring and mooring blocks checked by a professional diver
Dylan Christie and Craig Olive displaying some of the safety equipment people should be stocking up on.
Dylan Christie and Craig Olive displaying some of the safety equipment people should be stocking up on. Luka Kauzlaric

All sorts of deadly weather

WITH storm season well underway, owner of Pat's Tackleworld Greg O'Reilly says it's vital for local boaties to be prepared, or risk losing their vessel and more.

"A lot of people, after accidents say I didn't think of that, I was unaware, but an accident's an accident and they can be stopped by simply writing down a checklist for yourself before you head out," he said.

Mr O'Reilly said it was critical boat owners were undergoing regular checks of their vessel and equipment, to ensure the safety of themselves and others, should an incident occur.

"You need to have enough life jackets for enough people on board, be aware of use-by dates on inshore and offshore flares and if you're going to sea you'll need an EPIRB," he said.

The boating expert also pointed out tips such as keeping a supply of drinking water on board and having a buoyant storage container to ensure that if the boat did go over, essential supplies would be protected in a floating container.



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