Marine safety boost for Pumicestone Passage

Published 10:00am 12 November 2023

Words by Jodie Powell

A new Maritime Safety Queensland Marine Officer is boosting patrols in the northern section of Pumicestone Passage.

The Marine Officer will primarily conduct education and enforcement activities relating to boating's 'fatal five' - failure to carry proper safety equipment such as lifejackets; speeding; failure to keep a proper lookout; alcohol and drug use; and poor trip planning.

The officer’s duties will also include marine pollution inspections, investigating marine incidents, maintaining navigational aids and signs, managing buoy moorings, anchoring and vessel liveaboard management, supporting hydrographic surveys and responding to complaints.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says he’s pleased to have a Marine Officer dedicated to looking after safety in the popular passage.

“The Pumicestone Passage attracts a great many people who enjoy its waters for boating, for swimming or fishing, or simply to live beside and appreciate its natural beauty,” Mr Bailey says.

“In recent times, due to both its popularity and the dynamic and changing conditions at its northern end after the storm-induced breakthrough in 2022, ensuring safety on its waters has become more challenging.

Changing conditions

“MSQ has responded to the challenge by appointing an additional dedicated Marine Officer, who will boost MSQ’s presence on the waters of Pumicestone passage.

"MSQ also wants to remind mariners that conditions in the passage remain dynamic after last year’s breakthrough.”

Maritime Safety Queensland says the most important of the boating 'fatal five' is wearing a lifejacket.

It is compulsory to wear a lifejacket while crossing designated coastal bars in open boats under 4.8m and is strongly encouraged at other times for all vessels.

Maritime Safety Queensland is continuing to monitor the changing conditions of the Caloundra and Bribie Island breakthrough coastal bar and passage.

Notices to mariners are issued to ensure boaties are alerted about changes or hazards in the passage. Find out more here.

There is also a checklist for crossing coastal bars here.

The officer can be contacted on 5373 2310 during office hours or 3623 3900 after hours.

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