Sailors advice: 'Take all possible steps' before Cyclone Yasi hits

Cyclone Yasi
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With Cyclone Yasi promising to be the 'worst ever' according to weather forecasters, and Premier Anna Bligh describing it as a 'potentially very deadly event', boat owners should take all steps possible to secure or move vessels ahead of its arrival.

Transport minister Rachel Nolan said cyclone contingency plans for the Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Bundaberg regions could be found on the Maritime Safety Queensland website.

'I'd encourage all boat owners to ensure they are familiar with contingency plans for their relevant area,' she said.

'Boaties should take the time to travel to the suggested shelter area or inlet if a cyclone is imminent and ensure contact details are updated with the authorities.

'They also need to organise options to allow the movement of their vessels if they will be away during the cyclone event.'

'Boat owners should keep a record of emergency telephone numbers handy - for example regional harbour master, volunteer marine rescue organisations and the Queensland Police Service,' Ms Nolan said.

Forecasters say communities between Cooktown and Townsville are most at risk of a direct hit from Yasi, expected to cross the coast very late on Wednesday as a severe category four system with winds gusting above 250km/h.

Anna Bligh met with the state disaster management group, where authorities predicted Yasi could turn out to be the state's worst cyclone.

Carolyn Jenkin-Sanders and her husband Murray Sanders told the Whitsunday Times that they moved their yacht to Bowen on Friday afternoon because they didn't want to take the risk of leaving it in their mooring near the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Ms Jenkin-Sanders said it was too big a risk for the couple to leave their boat at Airlie Beach because their insurance company would not insure the boat if it was left on an open mooring.

'We live on our boat,' she said.

'We are not going to leave ourselves to die [on the boat in wild weather].

'Because we can't get insurance we have to move.'

Boaties should comply with all directions issued by the regional harbour master, or others as delegated, and not leave a cyclone mooring until the all clear has been given.

Cyclone contingency plans and contact details for each region are available on the Maritime Safety Queensland website – www.msq.qld.gov.au.