Boaties ignore rules and put lives at risk says rescuer
LESS than a third of all Sunshine Coast boaties are toeing the line out on the water, a local marine rescue operator says.
Our coast guards witness a long list of dangerous behaviours - and one of the simplest rules to follow is at the top. Coast Guard Mooloolaba QF6 commander Ian Hunt said boaties should be logging trip details with the volunteer organisation to ensure every vessel was accounted for.
It is a free service and even easier if you are a coast guard supporter.
Failure to provide trip details puts boaties' lives at risk - as well as those of their potential rescuers.
It is not only this risky behaviour that has coast guard flotillas shaking their heads.
Despite all the warnings a large percentage of boaties do not adhere to the strict passenger limits for vessels, carry the required safety equipment or know how to use their boat and equipment properly.
Mr Hunt said a recent drowning at Cape Moreton was a timely reminder of how easily disaster could strike and how you had to be ready for anything - particularly when venturing more than 20 nautical miles off-shore.
Mr Hunt said a lot of vessels had fallen victim to the designated coastal bar at the Mooloolah River mouth entrance and even the most experience boatie should be aware of the dangers.
To pass through this bar you are required to wear a life
jacket if you are in an open boat that is less than 4.8m in length. Kids under the age of 12 must wear a lifejacket in an open boat that is less than 4.8m in length while it is under way, no matter where they are.
There are 11 designated coastal bars in Queensland, four of them on the Coast, and they are not to be misjudged.
"The Mooloolah River bar is different from most other bars," Mr Hunt said.
"Normally you would be at an 80 to 90-degree angle or so to the waves coming in, but at Mooloolaba you are side on to them. People need to watch the wave patterns as they approach the entrance."
QF6 operates three rescue vessels and its official area of operation is from Point Cartwright to Point Arkwright, and 50 nautical miles to sea. This amounts to an area of 500 square nautical miles.
However, QF6 often extends its operations beyond its northern and southern limits.
Log on and off with the coast guard
Know your boat, equipment and safety gear
Check the weather
Register your EPIRB and check your flare and EPIRB expiry dates
Don't overload your vessel
If in doubt don't go out!
Coast Guard Mooloolaba QF6 - phone 5444 3222