Big step forward for Wide Bay Bar navigation now in trial period

Wide Bay Bar Virtual Navaids

This week we received some great news from Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) with the trialing of Virtual Navigation Aids on Wide Bay Bar now underway.

Wide Bay Bar is a very popular coastal crossing that is renowned for being unpredictable and difficult to navigate.  Andrew Fielding (QRBC Chairperson) upon hearing the announcement of the trial said, ‘The Queensland Recreational Boating Council has been working closely with Maritime Safety Queensland to get virtual navaids installed on Wide Bay Bar.  This is a very popular coastal bar and it is notorious for being challenging to even the most experienced skipper.  We are very fortunate to have Queensland coastal bar expert, Bill Corten, as the Vice Chairman of QRBC.  Bill has been instrumental in this project from the very beginning.  I also commend MSQ for the way they have worked with stakeholders in ensure the best outcomes for all waterways users’.

MSQ advises that it is very important that anyone crossing Wide Bay Bar does not rely on the Virtual Navaids as a primary means of navigation.  If you are heading across the bar make sure you have read the latest Notice to Mariners.

When considering or planning on crossing a coastal bar, The QRBC recommends;

  • Only head out when you are confident that the conditions are suitable for your type of vessel and your level of competency.
  • Check you local weather forecast.
  • Ensure that your vessel is equipped with appropriate emergency and life saving equipment.
  • All persons onboard should wear a lifejacket and be made aware of what to do should unexpected take place.
  • Tell someone when and where you are going and the approximate time you will be returning home.

Notice to Mariners regarding this update can be found here: Notice to Mariners – 384 T of 2022 – Wide Bay Bar

For more information on boating safety head over to: https://www.msq.qld.gov.au/Safety/Safety-equipment-recreational-ships

If you’re not certain of whether your lifejackets are compliant or maybe your interested in seeing what options are available, take a look at: https://lifejackets.org.au/