VMR calls to an­chor down now

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

WITH weather con­di­tions set to see strong winds and rain­fall pour through the Mackay re­gion, boat own­ers and prospec­tive water ven­tur­ers are be­ing im­plored to re­main vig­i­lant and use com­mon sense.

Cy­clone Owen’s pres­ence is ex­pected to make sea con­di­tions too dan­ger­ous to go out this week­end, and those with docked ves­sels are en­cour­aged to add ex­tra an­chors and tie down loose deck items and hatch­ets; even those sit­u­ated in the rivers where cur­rents are ex­pected to be much stronger.

Due to the weather’s un­pre­dictable na­ture, Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue (VMR) Mackay skip­per Charles Lins­ley said the sen­si­ble thing to do was to not ven­ture out to sea, and the con­di­tions would present dan­ger­ous oc­cur­rences for boat en­thu­si­asts brav­ing the wa­ters.

“We’re look­ing at some pretty strong winds and some un­sta­ble weather pat­terns,” Mr Lins­ley said.

“Even if the weather does clear up for a lit­tle while there’s no guar­an­tees that… it won’t change dra­mat­i­cally once you get out there, so our strong rec­om­men­da­tion would be to stay home and do some main­te­nance on your boat.

“The strong winds will in­flu­ence the sea con­di­tions: de­pend­ing on the height of the tide if you get the wind go­ing in one di­rec­tion and the tide go­ing an­other, that will make the waves stand up which will make it even more dif­fi­cult to sail a boat through.”

With res­cue crews only able to re­spond to crit­i­cal in­ci­dents should the cir­cum­stances not en­dan­ger the lives of emer­gency re­spon­dents, Mr Lins­ley said VMR would have to make a risk-based assess­ment to in­sti­gate a sal­vage should a se­vere sit­u­a­tion even­tu­ate.

“We’d have to make a de­ci­sion; we go when we can but like any first re­spon­dents we have to man­age the dan­ger,” he said.

“If it be­comes a life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion for the res­cue crews to go we have to take that into con­sid­er­a­tion.

“If in doubt, don’t go out; if you’re de­bat­ing whether to go out that’s a good sign not to go.”

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