Skip to main content
UPDATE 2 Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update Tuesday 23 January 2024

UPDATE 2 Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update Tuesday 23 January 2024

23rd January 2024

UPDATE 2 Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update Tuesday 23 January 2024

To All Our Marina Customers and Residents,

Important Notice to All Marina Customers - Tropical Cyclone Update Tuesday 23 January 2024

The most recent advice from BOM still has a wide possible impact area between Cardwell and Airlie Beach. The atmospheric conditions haven’t suited the development of the Low and have delayed the progression in to a Cyclone. That development in to a Cyclone is predicted to be tomorrow morning with a coastal crossing possibly late Thursday or in to early Friday morning. 


There are models that predict the possible path for TC Kirrily to land a bit south of Townsville and even if that were to occur, we will still expect severe winds and rain. Ahead of the Low actually developing in to a Cyclone and strengthening, there remains the potential for the current forecasts to change. With the ongoing uncertainty of the systems intensity, timing and tracking, Breakwater’s Cyclone Management strategy continues to be around Planning and Preparing for the worst.

At the time of writing, Breakwater remains in our normal Cyclone Condition Green but we will advance that status to Cyclone Condition Yellow as soon as Kirrily is a formed Cyclone. On current forecasts, the timing of this is likely to be Wednesday morning. I mentioned yesterday that Condition Yellow requires all Boat owners to be finalising their cyclone readiness measures and it specifically requires Boat Owners with Boats sitting up on Air Docks to lower them in to the water. This action is deliberate to lower the wind loadings and it is compulsory.

Be Prepared for Voluntary or Mandatory Evacuation

Reiterating the advice from yesterdays Tropical Cyclone Notice to all Marina Customers yesterday, if the Cyclone forms and strengthens as it approaches our coast, we will advance our Cyclone Condition from Yellow to Blue and to our final Condition Red. The final Cyclone Conditions Blue and Red require Boat Owners to conclude their readiness measures and to prepare for marina utilities to be turned off. 

Should the nature of the cyclone and associated conditions (the severity of wind, rain and tidal surge) be sufficiently dangerous for people to remain in our coastal location, we will require an evacuation order to be given instructing all Marina users to seek out refuge at a safer location. Right now, Kirrily is yet to even form in to a Cyclone so we ‘re not in the position to know when and even if an evacuation order becomes necessary. We can be sure we’ll get severe weather so we will continue to monitor the system closely and be sure to circulate the evacuation instruction, if it becomes necessary, with as much notice as possible.

For our Marina residents in particular, it is our recommendation that you Plan for where you will evacuate to and when you will go. Refuge can be at commercial premises like a Hotel, a residence of friends or family or a Council operated Evacuation Centre. It is advisable to voluntarily leave the Marina Precinct early, well before conditions deteriorate, so that you’re not driving the streets when it’s unsafe. If you remain on board at the Marina up until the mandatory evacuation order is given, conditions can make getting around difficult and Council Evacuation Centres may have capacity limits.

We recommend you use the Townsville Council’s Local Disaster Management Dashboard for advice and information and that you subscribe to their Emergency Alerts service.

Townsville has public cyclone shelters and places of refuge for use during disaster events. These shelters are subject to change, depending on the nature and severity of an event. They’re location and time to open gets broadcast through local radio and Council’s Emergency Management and Disaster Dashboard.

Mooring Ropes are the Most Effective Measure for your Boat in a Cyclone

We’ve focused heavily on boat owners replacing ropes that are degraded in anyway and adding as many ropes as possible to effectively spread the increased loads expected of severe winds at speeds of 100km/h and higher. I’ve observed significant upgrades to ropes around the Marina yesterday which is great to see. But, there remain examples of boats with just a single fore and aft spring which is inadequate to effectively retain the boat in high winds.

What is universally agreed among the weather models is that we can expect early winds from the south as the system approaches the coast. And the reason why we’re so insistent that boats have multiple fore and aft spring lines is because the winds will change as the system comes to the coast and crosses it – turning from the south to south-west and right around to the north-west and to the north. 

This means that winds will most likely start on your Bow or Stern – depending on your boat’s orientation in the Berth - and run right around in the opposing direction.   

Positioning the boat in the Berth and securing it with multiple bow and stern and fore and aft springs is vital to make sure that your Boat stays securely in position for all wind directions. The doubled mooring lines, as a minimum, will effectively support the boat in severe weather but they also serve as a redundancy in the event a rope or tie-off point fails. If you don’t have at least 2 of each of your bow, stern and fore and aft mooring lines each using different tie-ff points as best as practicable, then your boat isn’t effectively roped off to withstand the severe winds expected.   

We will continue to monitor the Tropical Low updates from BOM and other forecasters and will provide our Marina customers with notices of any notable changes to the predictions for anticipated formation of TC Kirrily and the corresponding changes we make to our Cyclone Warning System in accordance with our Cyclone Management Plan (CMP). If you have any questions or would like assistance getting your boat prepared for severe weather or checking its readiness, please don’t hesitate to speak with a Marina staff member.

Scott Marshall    |    General Manager