Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Weather Reports Save Boaties' Lives

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Weather Reports Save Boaties' Lives

Article excerpt

OPINION: Weather reports contain vital information and can also save lives, and with recent events such as Cyclone Debbie it just goes to show how important this information can really be.

Small-boat owners after March 31 will not be given weather reports by the Queensland Government Vessel Traffic Services and in Mackay we had Hay Point VTS giving out these reports for about the past year, usually at 6.30am, midday and 4.30pm.

Last year we saw the axing of staff at BOM Mackay weather station and other regional centres across Australia. About 24 stations will be de-staffed in the next five years to become automated.

I have been a Mackay offshore recreational fisherman since the early '90s and have always relied on weather reports, in particular the 4.30pm broadcast if staying overnight at the reef or outer islands, and Mackay Weather was always there.

The staff were friendly and at times interactive with the boating community, giving some common sense advice where to anchor, tide heights etc. …

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