Hidden dangers lurking beneath water’s surface
IF YOU are looking for wood to build a house, head to Duranbah Beach.
The Tweed Heads foreshore is one of many littered with debris from the past week's downpour and flooding.
The biggest is a tree with seven-foot roots which floated ashore on Monday morning after being washed down Tweed River.
Point Danger Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW unit commander Glenda Ashby said the tree was an example of hidden dangers under the surface of the murky water for boaties, swimmers and surfers offshore and in waterways.
"This is what has come out of the river and I am glad to see it washed up rather than still in the waterways," Ms Ashby said.
She urged boaters to be mindful of the floating and submerged debris because "there could be a serious incident if you hit a submerged log you don't see".
Before heading out, boaties are urged to check in with VMR's radio operators on Channel 16 or use the app to advise of movements in case of an emergency.
Maritime NSW Tweed Heads boating safety officer Peter Miller warned about 32 navigation markers in the Tweed River had moved in floodwaters.
"(It is) is quite a danger for people, especially if they don't know the waterway because a lot of those aids are marking significant hazards and if (the markers) are not on station then people could have an accident," Mr Miller said.
An audit of markers has been done and contractors will fix the navigation aids as soon as possible.
Mr Miller advised water users to drive at a moderate speed and keep a careful look out.
He said there had been no reported incidents so far.
"Flooding is not an unusual event in this area, " he said.
"We check the moored boats and some have moved but nothing too significant."
He also said the public should not get in the water near the mouth of the river, not only because of submerged dangers but because sharks often looked for food in the debris.
The Tweed Coast beach debris clean-up will start this week, with Duranbah Beach the top priority.
Tweed Shire Council co-ordinator of sustainability and environment Jane Lofthouse said staff would begin stocking piling debris at various sites ready for collection.
"While cleaning the beaches is definitely on our agenda, we have to also address road repairs and we will also be inspecting Tweed boat ramps and jetties which have been affected in the floods," Ms Lofthouse said.
"Our beaches have held up not too badly.
"There was some lowering of the beach profiles but what we have found is that with the excessive rains, the beach access points have served has drainage channels, creating problems."
"We advise the public to use alternative accesses to beaches where possible and if they come across paths which are dangerous or badly affected, again contact council."
She said there had been a reasonable sand buffer on some beaches and at Kingscliff, some excavation had to carried out to allow water to drain from Rowan Robinson Park.
"We advise people to be very cautious in the water at the moment with poor visibility masking any hazards," Ms Lofthouse said.