IF THERE’S WINDS GALORE – STAY ASHORE! - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Water Police and a Brisbane Coast Guard vessel coordinate during a recent night search. Photo: Kerri Williams, Brisbane Coast Guard.


Two simple things can stop you becoming a statistic on the water.

Four people have died in the Bay in the last three months, and Coast Guard crews have rescued several other boaties in dire circumstances. Marine authorities are concerned that boaties are not taking simple marine safety steps that could prevent them from becoming a statistic.

“We’re all familiar with the ‘flooded – forget it’ message about driving across inundated roads,” skipper Allan Tennent said.

“Equally boaties need to be thinking about something similar for their trips to sea: ‘winds galore – stay ashore’. Check the weather, and if the conditions are going to be too rough, then stay home.

“If you get to the boat ramp and the swell has picked up, the smart decision is to turn around and go home, rather than press on.”

The second important step is to wear a lifejacket, no matter what you’re doing on the water. Kayakers and fishermen in small tinnies are particularly vulnerable, but all boaties should wear a lifejacket at all times. Between 1992 and 2018, 230 people drowned, or were presumed to have drowned, as the result of a marine incident in Queensland waters. Of these, only 12 were known to have been wearing a lifejacket.

“A lifejacket can save you, but only if you’re wearing it – in a sudden emergency on the water such as a capsize or swamping, you may not have time to grab your lifejacket,” Allan said.

“Modern lifejackets come in a range of styles including jackets and vests, and are more slim-fitting and comfortable than in the past and won’t restrict your movement.

“They’re a small investment, buy one, always put it on and it will save your life.”

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