Notice To Mariners

Port of Gippsland Lakes

Location: Lakes Entrance Access

DATE:  30 April 2018

DETAILS: A recent Marine Incident that occurred near the Entrance to the Gippsland Lakes on Sunday 29th April has again highlighted the risks involved for vessel operators attempting to make passage through the Lakes Entrance approach channel (the Narrows) or over the Lakes Entrance Bar.

The incident involved 3 persons operating Kayaks in the entrance channel for a sightseeing excursion when environmental conditions were not suitable.  Vessel operators are reminded that the ocean entrance to the Port of Gippsland Lakes can at times be very dangerous due to the run of the tide in the Entrance Channel especially the ebb tide.

Bar Crossings for all vessels is regarded as extremely dangerous and can cause serious personal injury or death when unfavorable environment and safety conditions exist. Incidents can occur for many reasons including any combination of the following;

  • ·    Inexperienced vessel operators;
  • ·    Under prepared vessel operations and passage plans;
  • ·    Experienced persons operating unfamiliar vessels;
  • ·    Poor weather and environmental conditions;
  • ·    Large swells created by recent weather events;
  • ·    The run of the ebb tide which lifts and shortens sea conditions between the entrance piers and on the bar increasing the risk of swamping or capsize.
  • ·    Poor visibility, which may include the position of the sun relative to the vessels position;
  • .    The presence of other vessel operator (increased traffic conditions);
  • ·    Changes in sea and swell conditions from the time of departure to the time of arrival;

Passage through the entrance channel and bar should only be attempted bvy prepared and experienced persons with sound local knowledge and only at times ofair weaterh, smooth sea conditins with little influence formthe run of tide espectially the evve tide. Near real time tidal stream rates (current speed)  can be viewed on   Gippsland Ports Website at; https://www.gippslandports.vic.gov.au/boating/waves-tides-and- weather/

Operating vessels through the entrance channel and bar at times of heightened risk should be avoided at all times.

Information regarding Bar crossing advice, safety equipment requirements, vessel preparation checks and voyage preparation checks can be found in the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook. Vessel operators should take extra care during vessel equipment checks and conduct a safety briefing to passengers prior to departure.

Vessel operators are advised to take extra precaution before and during any decision to attempt a channel transit or bar crossing taking into account the advice previously described.

“If in doubt, don’t go out”

Further information about the Port of Gippsland Lakes can be found on the Gippsland Ports website at www.gippslandports.vic.gov.au

 

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