Safety—you've got to check it

Tuesday 29 September 2020
Weather is a key factor in boating safety. Knowing what weather you are heading into is key for your safe return. 

Always check weather and sea conditions before you head out, and stay tuned into weather forecasts while out on the water.  

Know the limits of your vessel and how it will react in different conditions―especially when it comes to wave height―and change your boating plans if the forecasted weather conditions exceed your boat’s limits. You may have good sea legs, but finding yourself in rough weather can have disastrous results for the safety of those on board and your boat. 

Before heading out do the five vital checks―warnings, weather, winds, waves and tides. The Bureau of Meteorology's MetEye tool provides detailed information on forecast winds, waves and weather conditions for waters out to 60 nautical miles from the coast, as well as for some popular inland lakes.   

Many sources of weather information are available via the internet, radio and apps. The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia's official source for marine weather forecasts, observations, and warnings. 

While at sea VHF marine radio is the most effective and reliable means of accessing weather information. If the weather turns while you are out on the water, don’t hesitate to head back in. Consider where you will find a sheltered haven if you are unable to get back before the weather makes conditions unsafe. 

If in doubt, don’t go out. 

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