High lifejacket wearing rates impress

File photo.

Ninety-five per cent of boaties had enough lifejackets for everyone on board and 83 per cent were wearing them when required, provisional results released on Friday from the ‘No Excuses’ safe boating campaign show.

Lead Maritime Officer for the project Matt Wood said the campaign targeted high risk behaviours including failing to carry and/or wear lifejackets, unsafe speed and breaches of navigational safety rules.

Matt says said Kiwi boaties “did themselves proud” when it came to lifejackets and ‘No Excuses’ demonstrated the value of having a consistent nationwide campaign to encourage safe boating behaviour.

There were a total of 182 infringements issued and 502 warnings given. Common reasons infringement notices were issued included people not showing a dive flag – despite having divers in the water, not having observers when towing and not having lifejackets on board or failing to wear them when required.

The 2018/19 campaign saw 3,531 interactions with boaties and ran from 20 October 2018 until 31 March 2019, involving 13 Regional Councils and the Taupō Harbourmaster.

The majority of ‘No Excuses’ interactions were positive, Wood said. Boaties were glad to see the ‘No Excuses’ teams educating and – where required – enforcing the rules.

Hawke’s Bay Harbourmaster Martin Moore said his team was impressed by local boaties’ behaviour and it showed safety messages were creating positive change. He said the team was met with a warm welcome and expressions of gratitude for their efforts to “make sure boaties made it home in one piece”.

Wood said the organisations involved in ‘No Excuses’ had a shared interest in keeping boaties safe on the water.

“You could say we’re one big team working together. A huge thank you to the councils and Harbourmasters that were involved in this year’s campaign for their efforts. Their work makes Kiwi boaties safer and – hopefully – saves lives.”

The organisations involved in ‘No Excuses’ 2018/19 are Auckland Transport, Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Taranaki Regional Council, Department of Internal Affairs (Lake Taupo), Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Tasman District Council, Nelson City Council, Marlborough District Council, Environment Canterbury, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Otago Regional Council, and Environment Southland.

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