Boaters warned of weekend weather conditions

18 December 2015

With strong hot winds and rough sea conditions forecast this weekend, Maritime Safety Victoria is urging all boaters to check the weather before embarking on their trip and to not expose themselves or their passengers to risk.
Director of Maritime Safety, Peter Corcoran, said boaters should make checking the weather an essential part of their pre-trip preparation.

"Summer weather conditions on Victorian waters can change very quickly. A hot day can deteriorate rapidly, often without warning.

The maritime safety regulator is warning boaters not to be fooled by apparent calm conditions, such as when there are strong northerly winds on the shores of Port Phillip Bay.

"The winds forecast for Saturday are the sort that involved the tragic deaths of three men off Altona on Port Phillip Bay in June, when their 3.4m aluminium tinny capsized," Mr Corcoran said.

"When preparing to head out on the water, it is vitally important to be aware of the current weather conditions in the area you plan to boat and how conditions will develop or change over the course of your trip.

"At all times, you should monitor weather by keeping a close eye out on the horizon. If you sense that a change in weather is approaching, head for the shore immediately.

"If you are caught out in adverse weather, ensure that all people onboard are wearing an appropriate life jacket and the vessel is kept bow into the wind.  It's also important to know how to raise the alarm if you or your vessel are in danger.

"In the event where your vessel capsizes, stay with your boat until help arrives. Staying close to the vessel improves your chances of being sighted by rescue vessels," Mr Corcoran said. 
MSV is advising all boaters to closely monitor wind, sea and swell forecasts via the Bureau of Meteorology marine website.