More boaters will be able to check conditions at their local ramp from the comfort of home as Maritime Safety Victoria launches new cameras across Victoria.
The ramp and carpark cameras, which feed live images to the Boating Vic app every five minutes, are already live at six locations, with 19 more lined up this year.
The next cameras to be switched on are at Stony Point (Western Port), St Leonards and Point Richards (Port Phillip Bay), Queenscliff and Torquay. Launches will be announced on Maritime Safety Victoria's Facebook page.
Smart technology allows the cameras to count the number of vessel launches and retrievals per hour, prompting a status of 'quiet' or 'busy' on Boating Vic. This is displayed alongside localised hourly weather forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Maritime Safety Victoria director Cameron Toy said boaters can use this information to make safer decisions on where and when to head out.
"We know boaters can become frustrated if there are long wait times at a boat ramp and we hope to ease some of that congestion.
"We see situations where the weather starts to turn, but people decide to head out anyway because they have already loaded up the boat, driven down to the ramp and waited around."
Boating Vic allows boaters to check how busy a ramp is and how the weather is looking - without setting foot outside.
"They can also access this information out on the water, which is important as conditions can change fast on Victorian waters," said Mr Toy.
"If they know a front is coming and can see there is a wait at the ramp, they can make the call to head in early."
Data collected on the number of launches per hour can be analysed against weather conditions at the time.
"This can help us to better understand how weather impacts boaters' decisions to head out on the water and creates a clearer picture of boat ramp usage and trip frequency."
Current camera locations
- Geelong Limeburners Point
- Clifton Springs
- St Helens
- Patterson River
Planned camera locations for 2020
- Stony Point
- Port Richards
- St Leonards
- Indented Head
- Safety Beach
- Newport (Warmies)
- Half Moon Bay
- Werribee South
- Kananook Creek
- Olivers Hill
- Inverloch Light - bar crossing camera