Boaties warned to exercise “extreme caution” after Ex-Cyclone Debbie

EX-Tropical Cyclone Debbie may no longer be wrecking havoc on land, but the hazard to boaties remains from as far north as the Burdekin River, all the way south to Tweed Heads.

Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey has urged boaties to exercise extreme caution over the coming days and weeks.

Mr Bailey warns waterways will be full of debris, depths will have changed, currents will be stronger, and some navigation aids may have been moved or washed away completely.


“With the arrival of the Easter school holidays, many families will be keen to get out on the water as soon as possible but responsible skippers should be carefully considering their plans,” Mr Bailey said.

“Post cyclonic weather has created a serious risk to safe navigation including missing or relocated navigation aids, changed depths, stronger currents, and submerged hazards.

“I urge boaties to keep a proper lookout at all times, operate at reduced speeds and avoid boating at night.

“Even with the passing of the severe weather system, conditions could still be unstable.

“Large seas off both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast will make offshore boating unsafe.

“This is especially critical at bar crossings in Noosa, Mooloolaba, the Gold Coast Seaway, Currumbin Creek and Tweed River.”

Mr Bailey urged those heading out on the water to leave their details with their local volunteer rescue group and to ensure everyone on board had a lifejacket, knew where they were kept and knew how to put them on.

“If you do head out, let your local volunteer rescue group know when you’re leaving and when you’re due back and leave contact details,” he said.

“Be prepared for sudden unexpected weather changes and at the first sign of deteriorating weather, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket,” Mr Bailey said.

“Have an alternative plan to reach shelter if you can’t get back to your usual mooring or boat ramp and ensure you have enough fuel to get there.

“Importantly, the prospect of heavy rains raises another risk for boaties of carbon monoxide build-up.

“Make sure that you have good ventilation throughout the vessel when underway to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“This odourless, deadly gas can easily build up if clears are down due to wet weather.

“Check weather conditions before heading out and keep checking while on the water.

“But most importantly, if in doubt – don’t go out.”