The Importance Of Checking The Weather

With all the rain and storms we have been having recently, i thought i would do a quick post on the importance of checking the weather. We all know that in Queensland the weather can change quickly, it can be beautiful one minute and then all hell is breaking loose the next! For this reason you need to check forecasts before you head out, make sure your boat is safe and probably equipped just in case, and remember the golden rule ‘If in doubt head for home’.

  • Always check and understand the weather before and during boating.
  • If it looks dicey, don’t go out—and if it starts to turn, head straight for shelter.
  • Learn to understand and read weather patterns.
  • Know your boat’s limits, and how the wind and waves will affect it.

Sources of Weather

The Bureau of Meteorology issues regular forecasts for small boats operating in coastal waters including expected wind direction and strength, the state of the sea and swell, visibility, and changes expected during the forecast period.

You can get these forecasts by:

Marine radio 

  • VHF marine radio – Weather information is available on request through VHF Channel 67 at several locations. Check the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) website.
  • MF/HF Marine Radio – Schedules and frequencies are advised on the BOM website.

Telephone

Hey its old fashion but it still works! Maritime Weather Service provides weather information from the Bureau of Meteorology at the cost of a local phone call.

  • All of Queensland 1300 360 426
  • Marine Warnings 1300 360 427
  • South Ease Queensland 1300 360 428

Internet

This is how most do it these days, check it before you go and keep checking it while you are out! A full range of weather information is available on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website at www.bom.gov.au

So in short remember the following:

  • Always check marine weather forecasts before you go boating. Keep checking them while you are on the water.
  • Conditions can worsen rapidly, so if in doubt start to head for home.
  • if you are stuck in severe weather, Personal safety is the number one priority.
  • At the first sign of bad or severe weather while you are on the water, make sure everyone on board is wearing a personal flotation device or life jacket.
  • If you cannot get back to your normal mooring or boat ramp, look for shelter in rivers or creeks with a mangrove fringe to act as a buffer zone from the wind.
  • Remember that heavy rain will increase the flow of ebb tides in any creeks or rivers.

 

A big part of being the skipper is knowing how to keep yourself, your boat and your crew safe. So before you go boating make sure you have completed an approved Boatsafe course and hold a valid Boat (RMDL) or JetSki (PWC) licence. Licence to Boat offers a convenient and enjoyable way to gain all the knowledge you need and complete your licence, for details of the courses we offer see the website: www.licencetoboat.com.au

Stay safe out there, and enjoy the Queensland summer!