BOATIES BEWARE: Hervey Bay, Fraser Island now dangerous
IF YOU'RE a boatie and you're planning on heading out to Hervey Bay or Fraser Island this weekend, you might want to think twice.
The fallout from ex-cyclone Owen means heavy rain, high winds and dangerous surf conditions are expected through Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, the Capricornia Coast, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey warned anyone venturing out to be "responsible" and "carefully (consider) their plans".
"Post-cyclonic weather has created a serious risk to safe navigation which could include missing or relocated navigation aids, changed depths, stronger currents and submerged hazards," Mr Bailey said.
"I urge boaties to keep a proper lookout at all times, operate at reduced speeds and avoid boating at night.
"Even with the passing of the severe weather system, conditions could still be unstable. Large seas will make offshore boating unsafe and this is especially critical at bar crossings.
"If you do ... let your local volunteer rescue group know when you're leaving and when you're due back and leave contact details."
Mr Bailey said lifejackets were a must "for everyone on board" in case of emergencies.
"Check that all safety equipment is up to date, be prepared for sudden unexpected weather changes, and at the first sign of deteriorating weather, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket," Mr Bailey said.
"Have an alternative plan to reach shelter if you can't get back to your usual mooring or boat ramp and ensure you have enough fuel to get there.
"The prospect of heavy rains raises another risk for boaties of carbon monoxide build-up.
"Make sure that you have good ventilation throughout the vessel when underway to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
"This odourless, deadly gas can easily build up if clears are down due to wet weather.
"Check the weather before heading out and keep checking while on the water. But most importantly, if in doubt - don't go out."
Check the Maritime Safety Queensland website for more at www.msq,.qld.gov.au.