Go­ing boat­ing? Know the weather

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - On The Land -

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

Mar­itime Safety Vic­to­ria (MSV) has part­nered with the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy (BOM) to en­cour­age boaters and pad­dlers to know the weather for their whole trip.

With un­pre­dictable northerly winds of­ten af­fect­ing con­di­tions on Lake Mul­wala boaters are urged to take pre­cau­tions.

“Con­di­tions on the wa­ter can change in­cred­i­bly quickly,” said Mar­itime Safety Di­rec­tor Rachel Gualano.

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

BOM of­fers a range of trusted tools for ma­rine weather. Visit bom.gov.au/ma­rine for the 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.

Boaters can also check for up­dates on the BOM Weather app, and lis­ten to ma­rine weather re­ports on VHF ma­rine ra­dio chan­nels 16 and 67 – broad­cast via Ma­rine Ra­dio Vic­to­ria.

As Ms Gualano ex­plained, 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.

“For ex­am­ple, 37% of pad­dlers and 31% 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.

“Our ‘Pre­pare to sur­vive’ cam­paign brings home the im­por­tance of trip prepa­ra­tion, so that if some­thing does hap­pen on the wa­ter, boaters have the ab­so­lute best chance of sur­vival.”

• Pre­pare to sur­vive: Know the five

• Know the weather

• Prac­tise get­ting back on

• Carry a dis­tress bea­con

• Lock in a buddy plan

• Wear a life­jacket.

Find out more at msv.vic.gov.au/pre­pare.

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