Boating Western Australia (Inc.)

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT – COLIN LOCKLEY

BOATING AND COVID-19
Member’s Update

Dear members,

All Members and Clubs would have received the “Pre-Warning” from BoatingWA a few days ago. Below is the “official notice” that Rottnest is now out of bounds to boaters for the foreseeable future as Rottnest Island becomes Western Australia’s Quarantine Station for the Corona Virus (Covid-19) sufferers.

COVID-19 Information
Important information for visiting Rottnest Island via private vessel

Rottnest Island will no longer be welcoming overnight guests and day visitors to the Island for the foreseeable future.

This also includes those who intend to visit by private vessel – moorings licensees, authorised users and those with rental moorings bookings.

A formal notice to mariners will be issued shortly and you are asked to remove any vessels on mooring sites as soon as possible. Please contact the Marine Administration team at moorings@rottnestisland.com to make arrangements.

In the meantime, please refer to our website for further information:https://rottnestisland.com/covid19

MEMBERS UPDATE

The Ship Vasco Da Gama will be returning with around 800 holidaying people from Australia to Fremantle – many of whom will be repatriated back to their own states – but around 200 look likely to spend at least 14 days on Rottnest as they “Quarantine”. It is happening as we have a few BoatingWA Members on the Ship and they have SMS’d us about their circumstance. Friday 27th Mar was the forecast date – but it appears it may now be Monday 30th .

The speed with which all of this has had to happen has been a surprise to many – but it would certainly appear that the State Government provided a solution to this circumstance.  Members have asked quite a few questions and we share the answers with all Members :

ROTTNEST ISLAND – WHAT DO WE KNOW

•   Don’t Go to Rottnest means – do not enter the Rottnest Marine Park – check your charts if you are unsure of the parameters of the Park. It does not just mean the Island itself.

•   Can I use my mooring if I don’t go ashore? NO – Do not enter the Marine Park.

•   Tenders must be removed by 27th March – that means you are in trouble if you have not moved it already. Ring the Rottnest Island Authority and seek permission to enter and retrieve it. Large fines for anyone unlawfully in the area.

•   Craypots are the same – do not go in to retrieve them unless you gain permission prior from the Rottnest Island Board.

•   Can I still drop my pots on my favourite spot if I do not moor or go ashore? NO – Do not enter the Marine Park.

•   Can I get a rebate on my Pen Lease? The Rottnest Island Authority will consider such requests at a later date. Nothing can be done in the current timeframe. BoatingWA has flagged this concern to them.

NB: The Small Staff contingent at the Rottnest Island Authority take around 4 months to allocate and manage all the moorings – they have no hope of having time to consider rebates at the moment. Ringing them will serve no purpose!

ALTERNATIVE VENUES

GARDEN ISLAND looms large as an alternative “Port of Call for Boaters”.
There are several things to take into consideration when venturing to Gardens Island:

•   The Island is in Naval Waters and the Moorings are overseen by the Garden Island Fishing and Aquatic Assoc (GIFAA)

•   The Moorings are not public moorings and are privately managed through GIFAA – you must depart the mooring should the registered user arrive. You need also to consider the GIFAA website http://gifaa.com.au/ see what the colouring denotes for Vessel size – it is not the same as at Rottnest. Vessels over 13 metres must not enter Herring Bay.

•   BBQ Areas will have been subject to a special cleansing by the Ranger, and there will only be 1 hotplate operating  at each BBQ to maintain distancing around the BBQ.

•   Numbers may swell in the bays – so good manners and adherence to the rules is essential – don’t muck it up!

•   Refer to the GIFAA website for further details however please note these key points

* No rafting of any vessel at any time
* No anchoring within 50m of any mooring
* Speed limits in the bays not to exceed 5 knots
* Dogs are not permitted on Garden Island

•   Police will not have to patrol Rottnest hence they will certainly be giving Garden Island a look – so any poor boating will be noticed.

•   Easter is coming – and if visitation to Garden Island causes any problems – future rights of visitation will be jeopardized. Respect Garden Island if we want to continue to visit it.

•   The Navy will monitor the covid-19 situation and cannot rule out closing Garden Island to the Public if their operations are threatened by the virus.

QUARANTINING ON BOATS

We have been hearing this quite a bit and there are a couple of problems associated with this process.

•   If you are quarantining – make sure that you are well ‘signposted” to other vessels and anyone wanting to come and visit you.

•   Do not go ashore and use any facilities.

•   If you are quarantining at your Club or in a Marina – you cannot leave the vessel for toileting/showers/visits/food or beverage purchases or you are jeopardizing your Clubmates and the Club. Again –signage will ensure no one blunders aboard.

•   Do not consider that tying to a public mooring for the quarantine period is acceptable.

These are tough times for everyone, and particularly tough for those of us who derive our relaxation and joy from being out and about in our boats.
Your good manners and adherence to the rules will ensure that we continue to have access to these wonderful boating destinations – and your patience will ensure that we will eventually get Rottnest back.

Stay Well – Boat Safely – Consider Others.


Colin Lockley
PRESIDENT.
Boating Western Australia