TREES were blown down, power lines were cut, roads were closed and three people were rescued from St Georges Basin during yesterday’s high winds.
Gusts of 93 kilometres per hour were recorded at northern Shoalhaven’s SES headquarters on Albatross Road.
The facility was activated at 2pm yesterday in response to 24 calls for assistance.
Jacquie Gilmore of the SES said by 4pm 31 calls for help had been logged from Kangaroo Valley to Sussex Inlet.
“We have one team out now with another three going out shortly,” she said.
She said most of the calls for assistance related to trees and branches blowing down, but there had also been reports of flying trampolines and signs breaking loose.
Rural Fire Service volunteers extinguished a number of pile burns that were unsupervised and also attended a small bushfire near Ulladulla.
On the water strong winds caused dangerous conditions for boaters.
At noon the skipper and two passengers on board one boat were forced to take refuge on a small island in the basin when their boat suffered engine failure.
The boat was washed ashore before it could be re-started.
As the boat was being washed ashore, the skipper sent a radio call for help.
The Marine Rescue Jervis Bay radio base received the call and relayed it to the closer Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet unit to respond.
Rescue vessel Sussex 30 located the three people within 30 minutes.
The strong winds and heavy weed growth in the water prevented Sussex 30 from reaching the stranded boaters on the island.
The skipper of the stranded boat was able to get the engine started again and in a brief moment of calmer conditions motored to Sussex 30 in clear water.
The three were taken aboard the rescue vessel and their boat was towed to a safe landing place.
The Bureau of Meteorology had issued a gale warning for local waters yesterday.
Marine Rescue NSW Illawarra regional controller Bruce Mitchell reminded all boaters to check the weather forecast before they head out and to take heed of changing conditions when they are on the water.
“The school holidays have attracted many families to NSW waterways and it is important that parents and responsible adults exercise caution when considering whether to launch a boat.”
Mr Mitchell said all boaters should ensure their marine radio was in good working condition for the coming boating season.
“Skippers are always welcome to call their local Marine Rescue radio base to check their radio transmission and reception is loud and clear. In an emergency like this one, that radio call is all that is needed to get help on the way fast,” he said.