Boaties urged to heed advice
FRUSTRATED Townsville water police are urging the region’s boaties to check weather conditions before heading out after wasting time and resources on preventable rescues in recent weeks.
The warning comes as a 79-year-old man with a heart condition who left a boat ramp in Sarina, about 400km south of Townsville, f or Prudhoe Island is still yet to be found by search and rescue crews.
The RACQ rescue chopper was forced to abandon its search yesterday afternoon to refuel after the Whitsunday water police were unable to find the man on Saturday.
Townsville water police officer-in-charge Sergeant Matt Pegg said the incident was one of several in recent weeks that had sparked concern.
He said a trip to the reef should be a fun experience, not a life and death situation.
‘‘ Quite often bad weather is forecast hours or even days ahead of time yet we still see people going out. Watch the weather," he said.
‘‘ Don’t go out if it is forecast to be bad and be prepared to c o m e h o m e e a r l y i f i t changes for the worse.
‘‘ The marine environment is not the place to be when