Stay safe out on the wa­ter this sum­mer

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS - Boaters are re­minded to know the con­di­tions and carry all the ap­pro­pri­ate safety equip­ment.

Check­ing the weather be­fore head­ing out on the wa­ter is stan­dard for most Vic­to­rian boaters, but many don’t re­alise that one check is not enough.

Boaters and pad­dlers are be­ing en­cour­aged to know the weather for their whole trip.

‘‘Con­di­tions on the wa­ter can change in­cred­i­bly quickly,’’Mar­itime Safety Vic­to­ria di­rec­tor Rachel Gualano said.

‘‘It is so im­por­tant that boaters don’t be­come com­pla­cent about check­ing the weather while they are out there.’’

To en­sure safety al­ways, the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy (BOM) of­fers a range of tools for ma­rine weather at bom.gov.au/ma­rine (for Coastal Wa­ters and Lo­cal Wa­ters fore­casts), and use BOM’s MetEye tool to help you as­sess lo­calised wind and wave con­di­tions for three, six and nine hours ahead.

As Ms Gualano said, one of the great­est risks to boaters and pad­dlers is un­ex­pect­edly en­ter­ing the wa­ter, and then not be­ing able to get back onto their ves­sel or to call for help.

‘‘Our re­search shows that many boaters and pad­dlers tend to un­der­es­ti­mate the risks and over­es­ti­mate their ca­pa­bil­i­ties,’’ she said.

‘‘For ex­am­ple, 37 per cent of pad­dlers and 31 per cent of coastal boaters re­ported that on their last out­ing, they did not carry any equip­ment to help them get back onto their craft if they fell over­board.

‘‘We want to re­mind all boaters that no mat­ter how ex­pe­ri­enced they are, things can still hap­pen that are out­side of their con­trol.’’

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