VMR advises boaties to move vessels to sheltered location
BOATIES anchored off Airlie Beach are being warned to move their vessels to a more sheltered location in the next few days.
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays on Tuesday issued a statement on behalf of Marine Safety Queensland advising all boaties, who were anchored off Airlie Beach, to move their vessels.
MSQ said in an email to VMR that the Whitsunday region would be in for "quite a blow" this Saturday and Sunday evening, with Windguru forecasting up to 50 knots from the north-east on Saturday afternoon, and turning north-west on Sunday morning.
MSQ state in the email that today and tomorrow looked to be the most favourable conditions to relocate vessels, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.
VMR president Mal Priday said the strong wind warning was unusual for this time of year. "The last time this happened was in 2008 from memory. There were more than 30 boats washed up, but that was without the notice we're getting now though," he said.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Harry Clark said the heavy winds forecast for the weekend would be a result of Tropical Cyclone Owen, yesterday located off the Gulf of Carpentaria and which redeveloped on Tuesday night.
"It will potentially develop into category three cyclone, before it starts to move east. It's forecast to cross the coast up on the (northern) peninsula on Friday afternoon," he said.
Mr Clark said the system would weaken, and then start to move east, with strong winds likely for the Central Coast and Whitsundays.
"The main concerns are the wind and the rainfall for your region - it will be brief but intense," he said.
"Saturday evening is likely to see anywhere between 35-45 knots, most likely from the north-east, and then swinging around to the north-west," he said.
Mr Priday said it was in people's best interests to relocate their vessels.
"It's important people pay attention to the advice being given, if they're at anchor off Airlie Beach and they move their boat over to Shute Harbour, or any other sheltered area like Nara Inlet," he said.