by Penny Robins
Roads and Maritime Services is warning boaters to keep clear of Lake Jindabyne and the Snowy River as water levels are currently above capacity and due to spill at any time.
Marine Rescue NSW on Lake Jindabyne - Marine Rescue NSW
Maritime Acting Manager Boating Safety and Regional Operations Craig Whitmore said Lake Jindabyne was expected to spill into the Snowy River imminently. 'Full storage level has been reached,' Mr. Whitmore said.
'The radial gauges, or gates, on the Jindabyne Dam will now open gradually, releasing water into the Snowy River.'
Mr. Whitmore said Maritime had been working with Snowy Hydro and other agencies including the local council, which was considering closing boat ramps until water levels subsided.
'Water levels at Lake Jindabyne are so high today that the local Maritime Boating Safety Officer, heading out to warn boaters of the changes, launched his patrol boat from the car park,' Mr. Whitmore said.
'For safety reasons, boaters should avoid heading out on the water in the area until conditions return to normal.'
'There are six navigation markers that are currently known to be off-station and five aqua markers which cannot be accounted for, and possibly may be submerged, so navigating on Lake Jindabyne would be potentially hazardous.
'That is not even taking into account the possibility of any submerged or semi-submerged hazards in the water resulting from the impact of heavy rains in the catchment.'
Mr. Whitmore said all skippers should watch the weather and only return to flooded waterways once it is safe to do so.
'When returning to such waterways, every skipper should be mindful of debris and semi-submerged hazards,' he said.