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One dead after jet-ski and boat crash on Molonglo River.

By dr phil - 5 January 2010 41 reports on this sad story.

Sad news that this has happend, my heart goes out to his family.

But to think on December 20th we had this post by johnboy.

What’s Your opinion?

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41 Responses to
One dead after jet-ski and boat crash on Molonglo River.
Hells_Bells74 12:10 am 06 Jan 10

*oh I meant ACT (boat) registration not ACT licencing 🙂

Hells_Bells74 12:05 am 06 Jan 10

“Where did you read there wasnt a rego system in place for boats? All boats in LBG/Molonglo capable of travelling > 10kt are required to be registered under the NSW Maritime authority (or other state maritime authority), and all skippers of powerboats on LBG/Molonglo are required to be appropriately licenced.”

Ah thanks dvaey, no wonder I couldn’t find anything about ACT licencing when I queried Google, I saw lots of NSW and it did say somewhere all states required it, but was lost in finding Canberra when I delved deeper. I was off looking because I was confused by someone’s comment. I would have assumed boats here to be registered.

Well that’s okay then!

I think some of the weekend it could be opened up for powered boats (but electric sounded good too) and away as much as possible from residential, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be manned just for those hours (half day or something) by a permanent ranger on the lake. With a lake-user small fee paid annually to fund it and a special sticker for the ranger to keep an eye out for lack of and whip any rogues off the water with the threat of the police. Oh it does it all sound like a lot of work.. nevermind, pipe dreams are a wonder!

Just stay safe either way.

OpenYourMind 9:20 pm 05 Jan 10

LBG is great the way it is. The last thing most of us want is a bunch of noisy bogans ruining the peace for everyone else. Given all the expensive new units around Kingston Foreshore, I doubt the water skiers will ever have the political pull to make this happen.

dvaey 5:45 pm 05 Jan 10

Hells_Bells74 said :

I can’t believe there wasn’t already a rego system in place for boats? (where’s dvaey?)

dvaey is right here, with boat licence and rego in hand, ready for the laws to change.

Where did you read there wasnt a rego system in place for boats? All boats in LBG/Molonglo capable of travelling > 10kt are required to be registered under the NSW Maritime authority (or other state maritime authority), and all skippers of powerboats on LBG/Molonglo are required to be appropriately licenced.

Feel free to check out for current legislation for the area, including the requirements for rego/licence.

I think one option would be to allow powerboats, but with a 4 or 8 knot limit, such as you find in other sensitive boating areas. Sure, youll get the occasional boater who goes for a ‘fang’ and ruins it, but fortunately all boats are required to have the registration number clearly displayed on their hull, so its very easy for the skipper/owner to be held accountable for their actions.

buz1986 3:02 pm 05 Jan 10

I know the guy who died very well… i spent 3 weeks snowboarding with him in Japan…
I feel so sorry for his wife and 2 kids 🙁
i spoke to him less then a fortnight ago, he was loving life, they had just finished some renovations and he was keen for the new year to roll around before he headed over to Japan for a month 🙁

Red_October 12:44 pm 05 Jan 10

My condolences go to the family and friends of the man whose life was tragically cut short yesterday.

My opinion comes from over 14 years of boating experience (both power boats and PWC’s) at almost every fresh water boating destination within NSW.

Suggesting that Lake Burley Griffin be opened to power boats is silly and doesn’t take into account the big picture that is Canberra’s tourism and local attractions and retailers. The fact is that LBG isn’t suitable for power boats or water-skiers. It’s just too dangerous and the public liability placed on the government would be horrendous. Half the lake is bordered by 1m high concrete walls with cascading rocks down into the water and the noise and pollution of power boats would be a detriment to the lake and the social behaviours it currently entails (sailing, paddle boats, canoeists, fishermen, picnickers, walkers, cyclists etc not to mention Canberra’s tourism image). The news that a man was killed on the Molonglo is extremely sad news but calling for the lake to be opened to power boats is not the solution. The Molonglo is too narrow, even after the extensive work to clear the sagging Willow trees which clogged the waterway. The State government has done a lot to improve the area as a safer, more attractive recreational hotspot but there’s still plenty more work that needs to be done. Further studies into improving the safety of power boating needs to be conducted and then acted upon, whether it be through further widening of the river, patrolling the waterway or a further reduction in the maximum boat limit.

I think the big issue here is that Canberran’s don’t have any alternative boating destination within the ACT. The next closest place to give the boat a bath is Good Hope -Burrinjuck Dam – and that’s a 45min drive to a fro. The Cotter Dam expansion would be an ideal location for water sports of all kinds but since the water quenches Canberra’s thirst, any thought of opening it up to power boats has been frowned upon. It is seen that the pollution from power boats contaminates the water, thus making the water undrinkable. This view is not only incredibly naive and misleading to the general public, it’s also based off zero facts whatsoever. Where does Jindabyne store their drinking water? Lake Jindabyne. Talbingo, Tumut and other small towns located near the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme get their drinking water directly from Talbingo Dam. Both of these water supplies give tens of thousands of people their drinking water but also flood with power boats in the summer. Any contaminants in the water are filtered out in the decontamination process at the water purification plants. To say that pollution caused by power boats makes the water undrinkable is simply incorrect. Hell, recycled water, purified from raw sewerage and storm water, is safer to drink than the water flowing from your household taps.

If you’re after accommodation at any one of these destinations during the summer you’re best to book well in advance. Tourism levels during the warmer months go through the roof and any vacant holiday houses are quickly snapped up. The towns are flooded with dollar-spending folk of all ages who are simply there to have a good time in the sun and water. Jindabyne and Talbingo are leading examples of what can be achieved through a little common sense a few dollars. Incorporating power boats in the Cotter Dam scheme would be a vital boost for Canberra’s economy and a much welcomed boating destination for the locals and interstate travellers.

Cotts 11:35 am 05 Jan 10

I should just say in regards to my above post. If the correct number of boats are operating on the water, attention is paid and people are sensible on the river it’s a great day out and hopefully we can continue to enjoy it for years to come.

I will be interested to see what the cause of the accident is deemed to be.


My condolences to the family, a very sad loss indeed.

andym 11:35 am 05 Jan 10

Power boats arent allowed on LBG because:
1) Polution – hydrocarbons and noise.
2) Lake is just too shallow. The propellers stir up the silt and the lake becomes unsuitable for people and fish. Granted, some may not agree it is anyway…… But it would be brown instead of mostly green / blue.
3) The waves generated destroy the foreshore.

We only took our power boat to the Molonglo River to test run after engine maint etc. Its really not large enough to ski on in my opinion. Burrinjuck was our preferred ski area, but low waters levels has made that difficult in the last few years.

troll-sniffer 11:32 am 05 Jan 10

I heartily disagree that it’s time powerboats were permitted on LBG. Why?

Because at the moment, the lake is a pleasant quiet enjoyable refuge from the high-powered cacophany that defines most of our urban landscape. At the moment, the only impact that lake users have on other lake users and the surrounding lands is visual, and most would agree pleasingly so. Powerboats, by their very nature, would destroy this harmony, by inflicting unpleasant noise and to a lesser extent an associated lowering of decorum on this oasis of tranquility.

The bogan end of town would see no problem with this of course, they would consider it their inalienable right to broadcast their noise and pollution far and wide as long as it was in pursuit of momentary fun. There may well be valid arguments for that viewpoint, but I can’t hink of any.

Remember this, at the moment, no lake user, on the water or nearby, currently intrudes more than a minimum amount on the amenity of the lake for other users. A powerboat culture would intrude markedly, and that is the crucial difference. It’s about the rights of the many over the desired aims of the few, and I hope it stays that way.

Cotts 11:29 am 05 Jan 10

I go JetSkiing regularly on the Molonglo river myself. Very sad news indeed.

I believe the river is often too crowded for the amount of space there is. This would not be an issue if people stuck to their allocated bookings. Often there are over ten boats on the river at one time. What happened to the time when we used to have to pay to make a booking at the shopfront? It is so easy to make bookings online at the moment, it just makes things more casual.

The issue with the river is also the blind bends in it. It is ok if people stick to their side of the river and leave room as they go around these corners. But when you get big Wakeboarding boats towing waterskiiers they often sit smack bang in the middle as they come around the corner (granted the river is not that wide and it’s hard to wakeboard when you don’t have room). It just ends up in boats operating in close proximity to eachother and presents some hairy moments :/

Postalgeek 10:36 am 05 Jan 10

Very sad. Even sadder would be if someone used that death to promote their own agenda, such as being able to fang about in a boat on LBG, for instance?

When Jacko says life, I assume he means powerboats, because otherwise Jacko needs to visit the lake again and have a closer look. The lake gets a lot of use, in the form of sail boats, rowers, dragonboats, windsurfers, kayakers, fishermen, swimmers, paddle boats, not to mention those walking, cycling, or running who appreciate it from the shores, none of it particularly compatible with power boats. And Jacko thinks it’s safer that powerboats mix it up with all those users?

hehe I can imagine that the cyclists versus motorists debates will pale in comparison. Some revhead will assert that boats have to pay rego for using the lake and slower smaller craft should restricted to the bays and inlets, and if they can’t handle wake they shouldn’t be on the lake, and someone’s bound to be killed and it won’t be the fault of the powerboat because the other user shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Search your feelings, you know this to be true…

Hells_Bells74 9:30 am 05 Jan 10

I can’t believe there wasn’t already a rego system in place for boats? (where’s dvaey?)

I agree I would like to see a bit more action allowed on our lake (BG). After a day out water-skiing (I was just a bum on the boat mind you) on the Molongolo River it was far too crowded (although I was told that there were booking systems in place and rangers enforcing that, but I saw no evidence of this that day) and those big and ugly wakeboarding boats are savage to deal with (along with their pretentious owners).

Although, this is the first death there I can recall (anyone know of any others?).

My condolences to the family, very sad.

fgzk 9:22 am 05 Jan 10

Kramer….”think it would be great to see some life in the lake. “

I think you need some glasses. The lake is full of life. Fun is more than sniffing petrol fumes. Maybe its damaged your brain.

TAD 8:36 am 05 Jan 10

You know, Johnboys old rant would be more relevant if the accident was in LBG not the Molongolo Jet Ski Park.

Kramer 7:51 am 05 Jan 10

Here’s a story submitted by Jacko, which I’ll post here as a comment:

It’s about time that power boats were allowed in Lake Burley Griffin, Dairy Flat is way to dangerous and if it is safe for the water quality at Dairy Flat it would be safe in the lake! I have even heard some reports that it might do the lake some good by churning up the water. I think it would be great to see some life in the lake. Then again the govt. doesn’t like fun things to happen in Canberra (GMC400, drag strip etc). Then maybe we could have ACT boat registration to make some revenue? What does everyone think?

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