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Lessons Learnt: When weather turns deadly

by Maritime Safety Victoria 9 Dec 2018 18:24 UTC
Lessons Learnt: When weather turns deadly © Maritime Safety Victoria

This month's Lessons Learnt feature focusses on the first 'Prepare to survive' campaign message: Know the weather.

Victorian boater Max says he's witnessed weather having fatal consequences.

As a child, Max was fishing with his dad off South Werribee in Port Phillip Bay, when his dad spotted a huge storm front coming in from Geelong.

"Dad said, 'we are heading back in, and quickly'. As we did, we passed a bigger boat that was heading out and dad told them to turn around and head for home. They completely ignored him."

Later that night, Max and his dad saw on the news that the boat they had seen was missing. Of the six people on board, only one survivor was found.

"We were the last people to see them alive," said Max (pictured).

"I have never forgotten that incident and whenever I head out, I always have the latest weather updates, VHF radio on, EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) ready and everyone is wearing a lifejacket."

'Know the weather' is a key message in MSV's new boating safety campaign 'Prepare to survive: Know the five'.

Know the weather for your whole trip

Checking the weather before heading out on the water is standard for most Victorian boaters, but many don't realise that one check is not enough.

Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV) has partnered with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to encourage boaters and paddlers like you to know the weather for the whole trip.

"Conditions on the water can change incredibly quickly," said Maritime Safety Director Rachel Gualano.

"It's important to keep checking the weather while you are out there."

BOM offers a range of trusted tools for marine weather. Visit the BOM Marine page for the Coastal Waters and Local Waters forecasts, and use BOM's MetEye tool to help you assess localised wind and wave conditions for three, six and nine hours ahead.

You can also check for updates on the BOM Weather app, and listen to marine weather reports on VHF marine radio channels 16 and 67 – broadcast via Marine Radio Victoria.

Watch Max tell his story, and get more advice from BOM and MSV, at msv.vic.gov.au/prepare/weather.

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