Boat­ies urged to heed ad­vice

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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

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