Press release

21 February, 2019

Weather Advisory - Tropical Cyclone Oma RHM Sitrep One

Dear Valued Customer,

Please note following from Gladstone Harbour Master office regarding Tropical Cyclone OMA.

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A cyclone watch has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for the Gladstone Region from Bundaberg to Double Island Point. As a result, the Southern Gladstone Region from Round Hill to Double Islands Point has now moved to BLUE ALERT STATUS with effect from 1600 local time Thursday 21 February 2019 (211600K FEB 19). Mariners, marine organisations and other interested parties in the Southern Gladstone Region should consult the Gladstone Region Extreme Weather Contingency Plan (https://publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/maritime-safety-extreme-weather-contingency-plans/resource/aa6cfe06-c22b-4c82-93a0-e5e0828d42f6) and commence enacting their own plans from receipt of this message.

The Cyclone Watch is expected to expand to include the remainder of the Gladstone Region in the coming days and Mariners, marine organisations and other interested parties should be ensuring they are ready to enact their plans at short notice. 

Changes to the ALERT STATUS will be advised by email and accord to changes to the Watch and Warning Status issued by the BOM.

TC OMA continues to track in a South Westerly direction but is expected to turn to the North West sometime Saturday or Sunday. In any event the Sea State and Swell conditions can be expected to deteriorate. Gale Force winds are expected offshore of the Region tomorrow and as the cyclone approaches and moves up the coast these gales can be expected to move inshore.

At this time, it is business as usual for the Ports in the Region, although a cruise ship visit to Kingfisher Bay in the Maryborough Pilotage Area today and one to Gladstone tomorrow have been cancelled as a precaution. Currently in place, are measures advised yesterday that commenced at 1200 local time today which are:

  • Vessels at anchor to bring their main engines to standby, ballast down and be prepared to depart the anchorage at immediate notice.
  • Vessels at berth are to run additional mooring lines and maintain a continuous watch on mooring lines
  • Vessels at berth are to be ready to cease cargo operations and depart the Port with little notice.
  • Vessels directed to depart the Port and Anchorages are to ensure they proceed to sea and not remain within the confines of the Great Barrier Reef 

Vessel Agents and Terminal Operators should ensure their vessels are complying with these requirements.

Operations in the Ports of Gladstone, Port Alma and Bundaberg will be impacted though to what extent and over what time frame is not known. Agents, Shippers and Terminal Operators should be prepared for disruptions from 1200 Friday 22 February if the sea state and swell accompanying the gale force winds continue to increase. As much notice as possible will be provided, regarding any disruptions or decision to suspend shipping.

The next update will be sent at 1700 Friday 22 February or earlier if required.

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