Notice to Mariners No. 187 of 2024

Port of Mallacoota Inlet – Bastion Point Boat Ramp

Navigation Warning – Approach Channel Shoaling

DATE:  1st May 2024 – Effective Immediately


East Gippsland Shire Council has reported that shoaling has occurred in the approach channel to the Bastion Point Boat Ramp.

The shoaling has encroached across the width of the entrance to the approach channel and extends from the end of the break wall inwards approximately 30 meters from the entrance along the approach channel towards the boat ramp.

Due to surf conditions sounding is not possible at low water but estimates by the East Gippsland Shire Council indicate least depths of less than 0.5m – 0.3m at Zero Tide.

Attempts to dredge the approach channel have been hampered by environmental conditions and the Dredger has experienced mechanical failure. Mariners are advised that the Council will deploy Excavation machinery when it becomes available until necessary parts arrive and the Suction Dredger returns to service. In the meantime the condition of the Boat Ramp entrance channel will remain shallow with no intervention methods available other than weather events.


Mariners are advised that transits of the approach channel and entrance should only be carried out during fine weather conditions and if there is sufficient height of tide taking into consideration the vessels draft, the existing sea state, predicted weather conditions for the duration of the voyage and the expected conditions and tide height for the time of return.

Passage through the approach channel should only be attempted by experienced vessel operators who possess sound knowledge of the conditions to be expected during the transit of the channel taking into consideration the shoaling that has occurred and the prevailing weather and sea state at the time.

Mariners are also advised to take extra precaution when departing or approaching the Bastion Point Boat Ramp due to the compromised depth caused by the shoaling. Passengers should be briefed so they are aware of the heightened risk that may prevail at the time of departure or arrival.


Due to the state of the Bastion Point Boat Ramp mariners might choose to operate through the entrance to Mallacoota Inlet and across the Mallacoota Bar



 Mariners are reminded that an ocean access entrance is dynamic and continuously changes in position and depth and can do so over a very short period.

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 out 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.

Passage through an entrance and bar should only be attempted by experienced persons with sound local knowledge and only at times of fair weather, smooth sea conditions at higher water with no influence from the ebb tide.

 Bar crossing advice and safety equipment requirements can be found in the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook.

Boating Safety Handbook | Safe Transport Victoria

Vessel operators should take extra care during vessel equipment checks and conduct a safety briefing to passengers prior to departure and arrival through unmarked Bar entrances.


Vessel operators are advised to exercise extreme caution before and during any decision to attempt a bar crossing considering the advice previously described.


Further details can be obtained from Gippsland Ports Harbour Master Ph. 0427 610 025


CHARTS AFFECTED: Chart Aus. 805 ENC Cell Au.438149


Gippsland Ports Waterways Online available at

FURTHER NOTICE:  A further Notice will be issued.


Capt. Bevis Hayward

Harbour Master

Gippsland Ports

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