Mariners are reminded of the absolute imperative to follow the weather and the impending forecast prior to and during any voyage to sea. This week Marine Rescue highlights an example of this. For the past three days an intensive low pressure system has been tracking towards Tasmania. Yesterday (Saturday 2nd of December 2017) is a prime example. Below is the AIS track of a vessel just outside the St Helens Barway. If you examine the image closely you will notice the southern track headed towards the bar, then the subsequent traversing outside the breaking water and the final decision to move North (click to enlarge).
A phone call was received at around 0530 hours requesting assistance to cross the Bar. Subsequently Volunteer Marine Rescue Members travelled to Burns Bay to observe the conditions of the Bar. It was determined that under no circumstances should a vessel attempt to cross given the prevailing waves, the swell, the tide and the wind direction. Advice was rendered for the vessel to seek sheltered waters to the North in Binalong Bay or Skeleton Bay. The skipper then decided to leave and head north.
An example of weather forecasting and the conditions at the time were taken from Willy Weather (click to enlarge). It contains a longitudinal forecast as well as real time wind speed. Other variables available include tide times, swell, temperature and general forecast. This can be an additional tool when looking at weather.
St Helens Marine Rescue urges all mariners going to sea to constantly monitor weather and future forecasts.
For current weather conditions BOM has an incredible site called MetEye. This can be found at http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/?ref=ftr
To all mariners St Helens Marine Rescue urges you to, “Enjoy your time on the water and stay safe.”