BOATIES heading out on southeast Queensland’s lakes this summer are being reminded to be vigilant for hidden dangers under the water with the region’s combined dam levels at 60 per cent capacity.
After a drier than average year, Seqwater advises that lower water levels at some of their lakes have increased the danger of submerged and semi-submerged hazards in the water, such as trees, rocks, fence posts and landmasses. Seqwater principal compliance officer Amber Blake reminds lake users on the water to follow signage and operate their vessels in a cautious and sensible manner to avoid any hazards this summer. “Some of our popular lakes such as Somerset and Moogerah have gazetted six-knot speed limits to improve public safety in the heavily timbered areas of the lake,” Ms Blake said.
“However, outside these areas, people should continue to be wary of hidden underwater hazards and not get complacent, especially while lake levels are continuing to decrease. If you hit a submerged object at speed, it can result in serious injury to those aboard the vessel or skiers, not to mention damage to the vessel itself. Lakes can be deceptively dangerous. If you’re unsure, play it safe and slow down.”
Dam storage levels at Wivenhoe and Somerset dams are now about 49 percent and 68 percent respectively. This summer, Seqwater will once again be working with the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, Maritime Safety Queensland and other leading agencies to enforce safe and responsible behaviour on and off the water.
Ms Blake said the drop in lake levels has already resulted in the closure of some boat ramps and restrictions placed on some recreation activities at lakes due to the risk of hidden dangers. “Before heading to one of our lakes, we advise people to plan ahead and visit the Seqwater website to confirm what activities are available at each lake,” Ms Blake said.
For more information, visit seqwater.com.au/playitsafe