Local Navigation Warning
Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert
Location: Port Albert Channel – Western Approach
DATE: 28 April 2022
DETAILS: Mariners are advised that continuous Easterly weather events over the past 12 months has caused erosion to occur on the ocean beaches of Snake Island near the Entrance to Port Albert.
Gippsland Ports has recently received reports from credible local sources that large tree snags have been encountered in the narrow gutter that forms the unmarked western approach to the Port Albert Entrance.
Several large trees have been identified and many more lay on sandy beaches close the water’s edge adjacent to the western gutter. The tree hazards may also shift their position from time to time due to wave and tide actions. The tree hazards will, at times of varying tide heights, be submerged or partially submerged and may cause damage to vessels or outboard legs. A collision with a tree hazard may cause injury.
Gippsland Ports acknowledges reports that many small shallow draft vessels utilize the western gutter to shorten sea voyages to destinations west of the Port Albert Entrance. However, Gippsland Ports makes no recommendation to use the western gutter to depart or arrive at the Entrance to Port Albert.
Vessel Operators are advised that the western gutter is not surveyed nor is it marked by aids to navigation.
Being an Ocean Entrance the approaches to Port Albert are considered dynamic and channel alignment and depths can vary over a short period of time.
Navigation advice in general;
Bar Crossings are regarded as extremely dangerous and can cause serious personal injury or death when unfavorable environment and safety conditions exist, including;
- Inexperienced vessel operators.
- Experienced persons operating unfamiliar vessels.
- Large swells created by recent weather events that close off the bar entrance with breaking surf.
- The run of the ebb tide which lifts and shortens sea conditions on the bar increasing risk of swamping or capsize.
- Poor visibility, which may include the position of the sun relative to the vessels position when attempting to cross the bar.
- Changes in sea and swell conditions from the time of departure to the time of arrival and on a day to day basis. Sea conditions can change from long distance weather events centered in the Tasman Sea or Bass Strait.
- The presence of other vessel operators.
Vessel operators are advised to exercise extreme caution before and during any decision to attempt a bar crossing considering the advice previously described.
“WEAR A LIFEJACKET”
“IF IN DOUBT DON”T GO OUT”
Please contact Gippsland Ports on 0351 500 500 to report navigation hazards.