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Important Notice: Possible Tropical Cyclone Threat

Important Notice: Possible Tropical Cyclone Threat

19th January 2024

Important Notice: Possible Tropical Cyclone Threat

Sent: Friday, 19 January 2024 1:22 PM
Subject: Important Notice: Possible Tropical Cyclone Threat


To Our Marina Customers and Residents,

Important Notice: Possible Tropical Cyclone Threat for Next Week

It’s been reported widely that the Monsoon Trough has settled over the top of Australia and our interest in that goes to a tropical low that has moved out into the Coral Sea. The Low is expected to deepen and continue to move east over the coming weekend with a high chance of it developing into a Tropical Cyclone from late Sunday or Monday.

There is a high degree of uncertainty about the anticipated track and intensity of the system but there are multiple models that forecast the system will move back towards the Queensland coast early to mid next week. There’s agreement among the various weather commentators that it’s too early to know where the system will cross the coast, if it crosses all, but that does mean Townsville is in the possible impact area.  Consequently, the system could begin to impact our coast with increasing winds, seas and rainfall from mid next week.

As is always the case, when we have a severe weather threat that has the potential to impact our region, we are expecting all our Boat Owners in Breakwater Marina to prepare early for the prospect of damaging weather.

I appreciate we still have a number of boats locked down from the start of Cyclone Season and for the possible impact of TC Jasper in December which is great. For all our other Boat Owners, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the weekend ahead and the favourable conditions to properly prepare your boat to withstand possibly damaging winds and intense rain.

The absolute best readiness measure is to use plenty of mooring ropes that suit the weight and windage of your boat and that are in as new condition. Mooring lines stretch in strong winds which allows the boat to move around; it’s this motion that puts shock loads through your ropes and tie off points and increases the risk of the boat being damaged or it causing damage to neighbouring boats or pontoons. It’s for this reason we insist on all boats using 2 full sets of proper mooring lines, so the loads are evenly spread and there are back-up lines in the event a rope or tie-off point fails.

I’ll ask that you check the condition and suitability (fit for purpose and load rating) of your ropes and change them if there’s even the smallest sign of deterioration or wear. Bear in mind, mooring ropes – even polyesters that are UV resistant – which are in the elements every day will only last a few years. UV rays, abrasion, chemicals and being constantly wet or submerged work away at ropes every day so look for chafing, splices coming loose, knots, flattening or compression, twists or kinks, strands pulling away, damage to the cover of double braided lines that expose the core to determine when it’s time to replace your lines.

Having 2 full sets, at a minimum, of fit for purpose mooring lines is the cheapest and most effective readiness measure for your boat to remain secure at its berth with the least risk of damage during severe weather. The other key and common sense readiness measures to take are:

  1.   Reducing your onboard wind loadings,
  2.     Stowing loose equipment,
  3.    Closing any openings to minimise water ingress and
  4.     Making sure your automatic bilge pumps are working.

 Marina staff are around the Marina today inspecting all boats for severe weather readiness measures and we’ll be contacting those boat owners directly who have steps to take to be responsibly prepared for the prospect of worsening weather next week. The Marina will be staffed as normal over the coming weekend if any boat owners would like some assistance with the preparation of their boat.

It was an enormous help to our Cyclone Management, when Boat Owners were prepping for TC Jasper, to receive updates from owners about the measures they were taking. So, I appeal again to all our Boat Owners to contact us or send us a message with details of your plans to be Cyclone ready and when you’ve finished with your readiness measures.   

There’s a lot more to play out with the Low in the Coral Sea over the coming days in order to be more certain about the system’s development and potential impact on the Townsville, or more broadly, the north Queensland coast. We’ll be monitoring those developments closely and will circulate further correspondence as the tropical system develops.   

In the meantime, if you have any questions or you’d like some help, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the Marina staff.

Scott Marshall    |    General Manager