Stormy seas broke boat moorings

Jesinta Burton

A 13-metre boat has hit the Canning Bridge after coming loose from its moorings during last night’s wild storm.

Fremantle Sea Rescue skipper Josh Gammon-Carson said Fremantle Rescue was called to secure the boat at 10pm last night after receiving a call from the Water Police.

“They had received a 000 phone call from members of the public that saw a boat bashing up against the Canning Bridge and we responded from our Perth Yacht Club base at speed to get to the vessel,” he said.

“When we arrived on scene there was a member of public that had jumped off of the Canning Bridge onto the boat and he actually assisted us in catching the ropes and attaching them to the vessel so that we could pull it off the bridge.

“We then got in contact with the boat’s owners and manoeuvred the rescue boat into a position to get him up on to the jetty and then were able to transfer him on to his vessel and we escorted him back into his pen at South Perth Yacht Club.

“Occasionally, when there’s storms, boats do break their moorings. It’s a lot more unusual for it to break free from its pen, just because usually they’re attached by a lot more ropes, but it does happen and especially when there are severe weather warnings in place, it can happen.”

Mr Gammon-Carson said the bridge had not been damaged.

“Obviously, with a boat bashing up against a traffic bridge, there’s the issue of the boat getting damaged but there’s also the big issue of the bridge being damaged so we’re here to try and make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

“As far as I know there was no damage to the bridge. I think Main Roads are looking into that but there was a little bit of damage to the boat.”

Water Police Sgt Peter Trivett said boat owners should take steps to ensure their boats were protected during a story. He also said moorings should be serviced regularly.

“We mostly see vessels breaking their moorings, breaking their ropes on their moorings,” he said.

“Moorings should be serviced regularly, once every year.

“If your boat is in a pen, then you should go out before the storm starts and make sure all of the windows and doors are closed so the rain doesn’t get in. Make sure your boat is secure in the pen and that your ropes are in good condition. It’s really all that you have to do if you have a boat in the water, make sure your ropes are good and your mooring is in good condition.”

Bureau of Meteorology WA region spokesman Neil Bennett said winds were strong last night.

“We had strong winds but it depends on what was actually happening with the mooring and how that was all done. So, the winds were certainly very strong and we saw some damage over land and we also saw some sea containers being toppled over as well and that’s an indication of how windy it was,” he said.

“It looks as if it’s going to be fairly similar this evening to the conditions that we got last night so we’re expecting another cold front to move up, likely to get into the Perth area in the southern suburbs around four o’clock this afternoon. It’ll be right across the metropolitan area by around about five and potentially some gusts up to about 100kmph again over night tonight.”

“The strongest gust that we got in the metro area was 102km/h and that was recorded at Ocean Reef and Rottnest island. We also saw gusts of 100kmph up and down the coast.”

Last month a cargo ship crashed into the Fremantle Rail Bridge after also coming loose from its moorings during a storm.

Western Power spokesman Todd Cardy said the utility had deployed all its crews to repair the storm damage. He said Perth residents should prepare themselves for a storm this afternoon.

“We have seen the severe weather warnings out for this afternoon so we’re expecting and planning for extra work this evening. We’ve cancelled all of our planned work for the day and are trying to finalise all of the current hazards or repair all of the current hazards and faults to the network ahead of the next storm this evening,” he said.

“Follow the advice of the Fire and Emergency Services and prepare for the storm. Tie down any loose materials around their home but if you see, for Western Power, if you see a hazard such as a tree or a branch on the top of power lines, we ask people to call Western Power on 13 13 51.”

Categories: Emergency

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