Davidson and Lyne Park Boat Ramps to close for major upgrades

Two Sydney public boat ramps – the Davidson boat ramp in the Garigal National Park, Killarney Heights, and the Lyne Park boat ramp in Rose Bay – are scheduled to close for major upgrades this month.

Boat owners will benefit from the works, made possible with 100 per cent funding by the State Government through Roads and Maritime Services under the Better Boating Program (BBP). The BBP uses funds from boating fees to provide infrastructure for the benefit of the community.

Roads and Maritime Services has approved more than $4.5 million in grants statewide for 2011-12 to provide new and improved boating facilities across NSW.

The Davidson boat ramp upgrade project is scheduled to take about eight weeks from 23 April and will include repairs to the boat ramp, installation of an on-ramp pontoon and construction of a new landing pontoon with disability access. The canoe launching area will not be impacted by the ramp closure.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service (Office of Environment & Heritage) was successful in applying for $1.01 million in BBP funding through Roads and Maritime Services for the improvements.

Further work on the car/ trailer parking precinct and access roads to the boat ramp site will take place at a later date with further BBP funding of $400,000.

The Lyne Park boat ramp will be closed from 30 April until early September for a major $1.165 million upgrade involving a total reconstruction. The upgrade will deliver a much wider ramp and two attached floating pontoons that will improve the safety and convenience of launching, loading and unloading vessels.

The layout of the pontoons will provide wave protection to shelter the ramp from boat wash and wind waves which will further improve safety. The work is estimated to take 13 weeks and be complete by early September, weather permitting.

The works will be fully funded by BBP grants of $350,000 from 2010-11 and $800,000 in 2011-12 towards this project and project managed by Woollahra Council. A BBP grant was previously awarded in 2008/09 to assist with car/trailer upgrade at the site, which was completed in 2011. Car only parking improvements, close to the boat ramp and ferry wharf will not be finalised until all works in the area are complete and these works will be funded by Council.

During the construction period boat owners will need to use alternate public boat ramps. The closest one to Davidson Park is Tunks Park boat ramp, Cammeray. The closest alternatives to the Lyne Park ramp are the Taplin Park boat ramp in Drummoyne or the Bayview Park boat ramp in Concord.

For alternative launching facilities in Sydney Harbour, refer to the Maritime facilities locator at www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/locator.html

Wear a lifejacket and huddle together to reduce body heat loss leading to hypothermia and increase chances of survival, if capsized in cold waters.Winter chill dangers

The onset of cooler weather means a higher risk of developing hypothermia from wind chill, capsize and damp and wet clothes.

Hypothermia is the effect of heat loss from the body. Immersion in cold water causes the body to lose heat up to 25 times faster than normal and the shock of sudden immersion in cold water can be a serious threat to survivors of accidents, especially people who are older or unfit.

The best way to avoid getting hypothermia is not to put yourself in the situation where you have an increased risk of capsize or swamping. That means checking the weather before you go, and throughout the voyage. If in doubt, don’t go out.

Children and poor swimmers should wear a lifejacket at all times and this goes for everyone if conditions get rough. For information about lifejacket wear requirements, visit www.lifejacketwearit.com.au.

Keep your boat’s deck and cockpit free of slipping and tripping hazards. If you do fall in, remember: don’t inhale water, don’t panic, keep as much of your body out of the water and wear a lifejacket – it can be the difference in a survival situation.

Remain with your craft - this will increase your chances of being located quickly after a capsize or swamping.

For more information on safe boating in cold weather, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au.