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Final Tropical Cyclone Jasper Update 7 – Thursday 14 December 2023 at 1530pm

Final Tropical Cyclone Jasper Update 7 – Thursday 14 December 2023 at 1530pm

14th December 2023

Final Tropical Cyclone Jasper Update 7 – Thursday 14 December 2023 at 1530pm

Sent: Thursday, 14 December 2023 3:32 PM
Subject: Final Tropical Cyclone Jasper Update 7 – Thursday 14 December 2023 at 1530pm


To All Our Marina Customers,

Final Tropical Cyclone Jasper Update 7 – Thursday 14 December 2023 at 1530pm

The weather situation changed dramatically overnight as TC Jasper made landfall north of Cape Tribulation during the evening. Ex-TC Jasper is expected to gradually track westwards across the southern Cape York Peninsula and possibly into the southern Gulf of Carpentaria late tomorrow.

The Warning Area remains for continued heavy rain, damaging winds and flooding between Cardwell and Cooktown.   

The Marine Gale Coastal Wind Warning has been cancelled for the Townsville coast today. Winds are forecast to tend E to NE today around 15kts to 25kts and to ease to 10 kts to 15 kts later this evening. Squalls are expected to continue with wind gusts possible to 40 kts.

Local winds are forecast to ease across Friday and Saturday.

Whilst TC Jasper crossed the coast with a force that was considerably lower than its earlier Cat 4 strength, the local images coming out of the impact area around Cairns and Port Douglas overnight demonstrate how utterly damaging these systems can be when powerful winds, driving rain and pounding seas combine.  

I’m sure we share a sigh of relief that our region wasn’t in the path of Jasper and that our collective thoughts go to those in the Cairns to Cooktown area and inland across the Tablelands for a speedy recovery.  

I acknowledged in our TC Jasper Update 6 yesterday that our boat owners will start thinking about the readiness measures they put in place and when and to what extent should those measures be taken down or reversed. The immediate response is that it’s subjective and the decision rests with individual owners and their plans to be in or away from Townsville over the Festive Break and whether there’s plans to use the boat.

The severe weather event has passed and there is no persisting threat to our region, so boat owners are fine to take down or reverse some or all of their readiness measures over the next few days:

  1. Go back to a single set of lines (a Bow and Stern line and one each of a forward and aft spring),
  2. Shade covers can go back up,
  3. Sails can be unlashed and furled sails reset.

Some further considerations when you’re reversing your readiness measures: 

  1. Where boat owners, and this will apply mostly to Multi-Hull owners, have run lines across the neighbouring berth to the next finger along, I’ll ask that these lines get taken down over the next few days. These lines are incredibly purposeful during severe weather events but when they’re left in place, they impede the Marina making use of unused water spaces.
  2. I noticed a number of boat owners ran mooring lines to cleats on the opposing side of their finger. It changes the tie-off angles and is good practice during severe weather events but they do obstruct throughfares and create trip and fall hazards, so I’ll ask that these ropes be reset and refastened to the cleats adjacent to your boat.
  3. I will advise all boat owners that we won’t be accepting gear and equipment to come back out and be stored on pontoons. Only items that get used every day will be permitted on pontoons. Marina staff will be instructing owners to keep the thoroughfares clear.  

I would like to thank everyone for the effort they put into their responses for this event. We appreciate it can take a lot of work to get on top of your own readiness measures and on this occasion, we were fortunate not to wear the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Jasper. The experience however has demonstrated again that these weather systems are not predictable and so many influences combine to determine how these systems develop, how fast they travel, and which track they take. The message therefore is to get prepared early and prepare for the worst as you best defence.

Breakwater Marina will remain in Condition Green as our normal state of readiness under our Cyclone Management Plan.   

To close this TC Jasper update, I want to thank all the boat owners who have prepared their boats to withstand potentially damaging conditions while docked in the Marina and for all those who engaged with us in respect to their preparations and sent through notes about their progress and what they’ve managed to do; the communication helps our Emergency Management enormously.

As is always the case, don’t hesitate to contact us should you need any help.

Scott Marshall    |    General Manager