More marine rescues than Mackay and Cairns
Too many boat dramas
THE North recorded 91 marine rescue incidents last year, with the Townsville region accounting for more boating dramas than Mackay and Cairns.
A total of 332 marine incidents were recorded across the state in 2014, with the Townsville maritime region, an area stretching from Bowen to Cardwell, recording 33. Mackay recorded 28 incidents and 30 were reported in Cairns.
The Marine Incidents in Queensland 2014 report, tabled in State Parliament this week, showed a higher rate of marine incidents in Townsville, Mackay and Cairns compared to the state average of 13 per 10,000 registered vessels.
There were 33 marine incidents involving 44 vessels last year – 39 recreational and five commercial vessels – with the most common incidents involving collisions between ships ( 7), collisions with objects ( 4), and groundings ( 6).
Two boats capsized and four were swamped by waves.
Of the 44 vessels, five were lost to the sea and seven suf- fered moderate damage. In total, five people were injured including one who was taken to hospital in January last year after his dinghy crashed into an anchored boat near Ayr.
The Townsville region recorded 22 more marine incidents in 2014 compared to 2013 and 10 more than 2012, but well below the 126 in 2011.
The report also showed that boat ownership continued to increase, with one recreational vessel registered per 11 people in Townsville in 2014.
Townsville Coastguard spokesman Ted Winterbottom said unfavourable weather conditions had resulted in a lower rate of marine incidents so far this year.
“The weather has not been kind to boaties so the activity on the water is down,’’ he said.
“Our rescues are down about 20 per cent ( on last year) at the moment, but that could change in an instant.’’
Mr Winterbottom said the vast majority of rescues were due to a lack of fuel, electrical faults or lack of preparation.
“These are things that are generally preventable,” he said.
Mr Winterbottom urged boaties to take care on the water, especially during the current whale migration.