NSW Maritime has issued an alert regarding hazardous boating conditions on waterways on the Mid North Coast.
Regional Manager Jim Green said continued heavy rain over the weekend and particularly last night around Coffs Harbour and Bellingen would lead to dangerous boating conditions both now and later this week.
“Both the Bellinger and Orara Rivers are flooding for the fourth time in five months and some low lying areas from Coffs to Macksville have suffered minor flooding,” Green said.
“All skippers should keep clear of such flooded waterways for safety reasons.
“Every time a waterway floods there is a heightened risk of semi-submerged debris and unpredictable currents. There is also a risk that navigation markers can be swept out of position or washed away completely.
“Maritime advises all skippers to stay off flood affected waterways unless absolutely necessary or involved in emergency support roles.
“Those who do have to proceed onto such waterways should wear their lifejackets and ensure all other safety gear is on board and readily accessible.”
Green said NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers would inspect all affected waterways as soon as possible for new hazards and to ensure the system of navigation markers is intact.
“Maritime will inspect these waterways once water levels return closer to normal and until such time I would ask all skippers to take extra care,” he said.
“If in doubt about the conditions, do not go out.”