Take care on bar
BOATIES and boardriders are being asked to exercise caution and a healthy dose of common sense when approaching the notorious Brunswick Heads bar.
Emergency services and marine rescue personnel are keen to avoid the tragic circumstances which saw a Queensland surfer fatally run over by a boat entering Currumbin Alley in May.
“Surfing while vessels are departing or entering the bar can cause skippers to abandon their crossing in dangerous conditions,” unit commander Marine Rescue Brunswick Owen Danvers said.
“Boardriders all need to be aware that once the skipper has picked his or her line, their only means of avoiding a collision with the riders places themselves, their crew and passengers, plus the vessel, in danger.”
While Owen is quick to point out that local boardriders are often first on the scene when a boat capsizes, often taking people ashore on their boards before other rescuers arrive on the scene, he does question the logic of current marine legislation.
“It is illegal for a vessel to anchor up in areas where other vessels need room to manoeuvre, so why should boardriders be allowed to sit and wait for the wave of the day?” he said.
Considered one of the state’s most dangerous navigation channels due to its narrow entrance and constantly changing banks, the bar is a magnet for surfers who say it’s the best break in Bruns when it’s working.
“Surfers are generally aware where the boats are and give them a wide birth,” Brunswick Boardriders Club secretary Phil Sheridan said.
“Only experienced surfers usually surf on the bar, so they are aware of the conditions and where the boats run in and out.”
For Rod Gray, owner of Blue Bay Divers and Blue Bay Whale Watching based in Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour, the current camaraderie between local boaties and board- riders is based on mutual respect.
“On the rare occasion that there are surfers in the Brunswick bar, you just have to be patient,” said Rod.
“We all have to get along.” To register your vessel, phone 6685 0148.
Surfers are generally very aware where the boats are...