Hugh Pierpoint and Neil Oliver inspect the web camera at Pt Danger.
Hugh Pierpoint and Neil Oliver inspect the web camera at Pt Danger. Blainey Woodham

Take guesswork out of bar crossing

WEB cameras have been hailed as important safety devices during dangerous river bar crossings.

The idea of using strategically placed cameras to check conditions is part of a new North Coast boating campaign.

NSW Maritime chief executive Steve Dunn said as part of the campaign, five NSW Maritime boating safety officers were on patrol in North Coast waters over the weekend.

“The Mid North and North Coast of NSW has a number of bar crossings and all demand respect,” Mr Dunn said.

“Coastal bars are dyna- mic environments with a constantly changing mix of wind, waves, tides and sandbanks. These are places that must be approached with care in well-prepared craft. Local knowledge is very important for any skipper who is considering crossing a coastal bar.”

Mr Dunn said the NSW Maritime network of bar-crossing web cameras was just one tool available to skippers to check conditions.

“Responsible skippers will use a variety of avenues to prepare and plan for a bar crossing, and of course it is critical to make sure all the appropriate safety gear is on board,” Mr Dunn said.

“Perhaps most important of all is to wear a lifejacket when crossing a coastal bar, as this is a compulsory requirement.”

Point Danger Marine Rescue search and rescue co-ordinator Graham Vickery said the campaign helped to raise awareness of important safety issues.

“Crossing the bar can be extremely dangerous, and if you come unstuck you want to be wearing a life jacket,” Mr Vickery said.

“The web cams can be a good tool, but they are not the only thing that should be checked before you head out.”

“Responsible skippers will use a variety of avenues to prepare and plan for a bar crossing”



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