Dangerous conditions for NSW boaters this Easter

ROADS and Maritime Services has issued an alert after a Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warning about dangerous surf conditions forecast to affect the entire NSW coast this weekend.

A slow-moving low-pressure system near New Zealand is expected to create dangerous conditions from late on Friday.

Skippers and owners of small craft should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore.

Rock fishers should also check weather forecasts before heading out to decide whether it is safe to fish near dangerous surf.

Strong winds can also cause dangerous conditions for vessels on moorings which have been poorly maintained.

Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and all on board. Roads and Maritime advises skippers to:

* Check the official weather forecast before and during boating

* Ensure the boat and its equipment is suitable for the conditions

* Log on/off with a Marine Rescue NSW marine radio base for every trip offshore

* Wear a lifejacket.

For more information:

Offshore boating safety: www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/offshore.html

Lifejackets: www.lifejacketwearit.com.au

Live vision of bar crossings: www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/webcams/web-cam.html

Official forecast: www.bom.gov.au/nsw

BoM maritime-specific advice: www.bom.gov.au/marine/about/four-vital-checks.shtml

Boating safety images: www.flickr.com/photos/nswmaritime/

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