Please select your home edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Fires and floods continuing to impact NSW waterways in Australia

by NSW Maritime 21 Feb 23:35 UTC

NSW Maritime Executive Director Maritime Mark Hutchings today reassured the community recovery efforts on the NSW waterway network are well under way.

"The size of the job is considerable in re-establishing the network of navigation markers, clearing debris and salvaging boats following heavy rainfall, and in some cases flooding, combined with recent high tides," Mr Hutchings said.

"Never have we been faced by such a widespread clean up task.

"Normally when there is a flooding event it is localised to one area but this recent weather event has impacted waters right across NSW.

"The spike in navigation hazards represents a 2500 per cent increase in the normal workload and ranges from removing 100 kilogram trees from the bushfire-weakened banks of the Hawkesbury River to relocating channel markers which have travelled more than 50 kilometres on flood waters.

"On the Shoalhaven River, more than half of the 115 navigation markers, which indicate a channel or a hazard, needed to be adjusted or placed back in their correct location.

"Three separate channel markers, which have a 300 kilogram mooring block attached to a chain, travelled on flood waters about 50 kilometres along the Hawkesbury River - from Colo to within a kilometre of each other at Barr Point.

"In the past two weeks, the Maritime Environmental Services team has recovered the equivalent of 858 wheelie bins of floating debris, including 574 navigation hazards from Sydney Harbour and tributaries. During the whole month of January 166 cubic metres of rubbish was removed."

Mr Hutchings said the effects of recent bushfires were complicating the waterway recovery task.

"At Batemans Bay many of our stores of navigation markers which support the needs of the whole state were destroyed during bushfires - all of the plastic buoys melted," he said.

"There is still ash and bushfire debris swirling in waterways on the south coast, so it's important boat operators keep an eye on vessel intakes to ensure they don't get blocked and engines don't overheat."

Mr Hutchings said there was also an ongoing effort to remove multiple large established trees which had fallen into the Hawkesbury River in fast moving flood waters after bushfires had weakened their root systems.

"NSW Maritime is using a risk-based approach in terms of the order of dealing with debris in the water or boats which require salvaging," he said.

"We have contractor teams up and down the coast but they just can't be everywhere at once. We also have an obligation to give the owners of vessels a reasonable amount of time to rectify the situation - this can be 14 to 21 days."

Reports of navigation markers out of their original location, or vessels washed up on beaches or rocks are appreciated and can be made on 13 12 36.

NSW waterway and Navigation issues to be resolved:

  • Tweed River - 32
  • Clarence River - 15
  • Richmond River - 13
  • Hastings River - 27
  • Camden Haven - 7
  • Macleay River - 7
  • Lake Macquarie - 1
  • Manning River - 18
  • Wallis Lake - 3
  • Port Stephens - 2
  • Lake Macquarie - 1
  • Tuggerah Lakes - 1
  • Hawkesbury River - 16
  • Lane Cove River - 7
  • Port Jackson - 1
  • Botany Bay - 3
  • Georges River - 3
  • Upper Georges River - 3
  • Pittwater - 3
  • Lake Illawarra - 3
  • Batemans Bay - 4
  • Clyde River - 4
  • Moruya River - 10
  • Shoalhaven River - 78

Related Articles

Inflatable lifejacket self-service clinics
These clinics follow the successful Old4New mobile lifejacket program NSW Boating Education Officers conduct free Inflatable Lifejacket Self-Service Clinics across New South Wales during the boating season each year. Posted on 3 Oct
Zero tolerance boating blitz this long weekend
One death on any NSW waterway is too many NSW Maritime operations team will take to the waterways in a statewide safety compliance blitz this long weekend. Posted on 3 Oct
Cold snap poses additional risk for boaters
Boaters across NSW are advised to take extra care with gale force westerly winds forecast Boaters across NSW are advised to take extra care with gale force westerly winds and a severe drop in water temperatures forecast from today until mid-next week. Posted on 22 Aug
Top tech for optimum safety on Sydney Harbour
Safety on Australia's most iconic waterway is in for a boost NSW Maritime Acting Executive Director Alex Barrell said the new eight-metre NSW Maritime patrol boat would be operated on Sydney Harbour by boating safety officers who provide on-water safety advice and help to boaters 365 days a year. Posted on 11 Aug
The cold hard facts: winter waters can kill
Boaters are urged to take extra safety precautions Cold water is a lesser-known but significant factor in boating fatalities and serious injuries in NSW, with almost 30 per cent of fatalities in the last 10 years linked to cold water. Posted on 7 Aug
Boaters advised to take extra care
Heavy rain and gale force winds along the South Coast and Central Coast Boaters are advised to take extra care with heavy rain and gale force winds forecast along the South Coast and Central Coast early week. Posted on 13 Jul
Maritime safety is critical
Boaters have been asked to stay on dry land due to COVID-19 restrictions NSW boaters are urged to take extra care and always wear a lifejacket if they need to be out on the water at the current time, after a number of recent incidents. Posted on 18 Apr
Boaters encouraged to drop off expired flares
Expired flares are classed as explosives and must be disposed of properly Boaters on the South Coast will be able to dispose of their expired marine flares safely and easily this month at various expired flare collection points. Posted on 16 Mar
Free lifejacket clinics this weekend
Boaters who attend the clinics will be eligible to receive free lifejacket parts kits NSW Maritime A/Executive Director NSW Maritime Alex Barrell said people can attend sessions at Hovell Tree Park at Albury tomorrow between 1pm and 5pm, Mulwala Water Ski Club Posted on 5 Mar
Countless missing navigation markers and debris
NSW, Australia, conditions are unsafe in many areas Boaters across NSW are being warned to be on high alert for navigation hazards with significant debris and missing navigation markers after the weekend's rain. Posted on 10 Feb
Marina Exchange FOOTER 138 South - Marlin 695 Series 2 - FOOTER