Boating safety for spring

Coastguard recently successfully rescued the yacht stuck on the beach at Double Island Point, Rainbow Beach

Coastguard recently successfully rescued the yacht stuck on the beach at Double Island Point, Rainbow Beach

A quick glance through our statistics will reveal that the majority of call outs could have been avoided by better preparation before getting the boat on the water.

With the peak boating season underway, now is the time to prepare your boat, starting with mechanical issues such as motor servicing, replacing the impeller, checking the gear oil, changing the fuel filters and cleaning or replacing spark plugs. Several issues have been caused by worn or broken belts and stale or contaminated fuel.

We strongly recommend that you then go on to check your safety equipment. A quick check against the Queensland Recreational Boating and Fishing Guide, will tell you what the minimum requirements are, but there is no need to stop there. If you don’t have one of these booklets, they are available at most chandlery shops, bait and tackle suppliers, or at the Coast Guard base next to the ramp at Tin Can Bay.

Finally, tell somebody where you are going and what time you are expected back. Tell a relative, a friend, or the Coast Guard on 5486 4290 – you do not need to be a member to log on with us.

Ensure you have good communications when you go out. While a mobile phone may be sufficient close to home, there is no substitute for a marine VHF radio on your boat, where you can call us on channels 80, 82 or 16 between 6am and 6pm, 365 days a year.

Your Coast Guard also conducts courses for the public, including First Aid, Bar Crossing, Basic Boat Handling and Marine Radio Licence. Our prices are very competitive and you will benefit from our vast experience and marine know how.

New Waverider Buoy for the Wide Bay Bar 

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science recently commissioned a wave rider buoy for the Wide Bay Bar. After some fine tuning of the signal and aerials by the technicians, live data about wave heights, period between swells and wave direction is now available over the internet.

The Wave Rider Buoy is set just to the east of the bar, and is a roughly spherical device about 1 metre in diameter and is bright yellow. It has a long aerial, and inside contains an accelerometer and some sophisticated equipment to analyse and transmit data. The buoy is located at 25.47.900 South and 153.10.000 East in about 43 metres of water.

To find the website, just search “wave rider buoy wide bay” in your favourite search engine. For an explanation about how to use the graphs, go to the Glossary section to get an explanation of the terms used.

Of course, there is no substitute for checking with Coast Guard Tin Can Bay who may also be able to give you reports from other boaties who have just crossed the bar.

Safe Boating – remember that a lifejacket never spoilt a day on the water.