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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


12 December 2000

Bureau Responds to Coroner's Findings


The Bureau of Meteorology has taken on board Recommendation 6 of the New South Wales Coroner's Report into the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, according to Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage.

In the Coroner's findings the accuracy of the forecasts was not in question, but the sad fact that when the Bureau of Meteorology forecasters contacted the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia no responsible person was there to take and interpret the message to the fleet.

The recommendation (page 21) calls for the inclusion in forecasts of additional information on maximum wind gusts and maximum wave heights likely to be encountered by yacht-racing fleets.

"This approach was adopted for the 1999 race and was well received by the organisers and crews," Dr Stone added.

The loss of life in the 1998 race was a tragic event which we do not want to see happen ever again.

"Weather information will continue to be vital to the safety of race events, and it is important that we embrace the recommendations contained in the Coroner's Report. This will enable crews to make the best use of the Bureau's forecasts and warnings" Dr Stone said.

Commonwealth of Australia