Going boating? Know the weather
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.