Stay safe out on the water this summer
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.’’