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Coast Guard Media Release
How Boat Owners Should Prepare For Storm Season

After recent strong winds and heavy rain resulted in several dramatic rescues Coast Guard Noosa is urging boaties to prepare for storm season to prevent damage to their vessels or the creation of hazardous situations for others on Noosa River.

Raising a sunken cabin cruiser Among recent rescues was the retrieval by skipper John Goldrick, of Noosa Waters, and his "G Force" crew of a luxurious cabin cruiser after it sank at its mooring in Noosa Waters. A crane had to be deployed to lift and right the vessel enabling the Coast Guard crew to pump water out. See photo at left.

"It is important to check the bilge pump is operating, that the battery is fully charged, that the mooring lines allow for rising water in heavy rain and to check the scuppers are free to allow rain to run off.

"This particular vessel sank through a combination of these factors, particularly as changing the motor had left a hole near the waterline and once the rain weighed the boat down, the river just flowed in."

Mr. Goldrick said in the recent strong winds houseboats had broken adrift from their moorings - "unfortunately a common occurrence on Noosa River."

"When the weather turns bad enormous forces act on the mooring or anchor so owners need to be aware of the risk and take precautions, such as utilising extra heavy duty lines with the ability to lengthen as required and to ensure the anchor is correctly setup."

Another simple precaution when a storm was approaching was to remove everything loose off the vessel, particularly newspapers and magazines which could block bilges and pumps if the vessel took on water.

It was estimated 50% of moored vessels damaged in cyclonic winds could have been saved by using better mooring lines and better knowledge in their arrangement.

If boaties provide Coast Guard Noosa with letters authorising Coast Guard crew to board unoccupied vessels delays in providing crucial assistance could be avoided. At present Coast Guard requires police permission to board such vessels.

"Prevention is the key to avoiding trouble and Coast Guard Noosa can provide helpful advice" said Mr. Goldrick.

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