Boaties urged to be safe on the water

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Maritime NZ is urging boaties to take safety on the water seriously.

Maritime NZ’s acting manager sector engagement and collaboration Matt Wood says there has been record boat sales and it’s great to see so many people taking the opportunity to get out on the water this summer.

“But that also means there are a lot of new people out there, with varying levels of experience.

“We are reminding everyone on the water – from stand-up paddlers to jet boaters - to think twice before heading out. Ask yourself have you prepped your boat and checked your gear? Do you know your responsibilities for staying safe on the water?”

He says having a plan and making the right safety choice before heading out on the water is crucial.

“The decisions you make before you head out will either ensure you are safe on the water or put you and others at risk.

“It’s often time pressure, or being encouraged to follow the advice of friends, that leads to people making bad decisions before they head out on the water.

“We’re urging people to seek out the right information beforehand instead, such as checking the maritime weather forecast on MetService and the local boating rules on the MarineMate app.”

While most are keen to do the right thing, local harbourmasters have identified a range of safety issues, including:

  •   •  Not wearing a lifejacket when required

  •   •  Use of old kapok lifejackets that are unsafe

  •   •  Speeding

  •   •  Not being aware of local boating rules

“We’re urging everyone to follow the Boating Safety Code and make sure they keep themselves, and their friends and whānau, safe. There’s no excuses for putting yourself and others at risk,” says Matt.

The Boating Safety Code has five simple messages:

  •   •  Wear your lifejacket

  •   •  Take two waterproof ways to call for help

  •   •  Check the marine weather forecast

  •   •  Avoid alcohol

  •   •  Be a responsible skipper

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