VMR calls to anchor down now
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.”