Boat safety advised
Boaties using the Waikato region’s lakes this summer are being urged not to be lulled into a false sense of security.
Waikato Regional Council harbourmaster Kim Mckenzie said boaties using lakes should make sure they knew and followed safety rules so they could keep safe this summer.
He said 114 people had drowned this year around New Zealand.
‘‘Boating on inland waterways such as the Waikato’s hydro lakes often gives boaties a false sense of security because they can see the shore and the water can look deceptively calm.
‘‘But more people drown on inland waterways than they do off the coast.’’
Mr Mckenzie urged all boaties to follow these simple rules and suggestions:
Skippers must carry enough correctly fitting lifejackets for everyone aboard, to be worn or stored where they can be easily accessed in an emergency. Children should wear lifejackets at all times
Carry at least two forms of communication. Coverage can be quite hard to get on lakes so have a backup
Switch on navigation lights between dusk and dawn
Keep to the starboard, right side of the lake and pass port (left) to port
Within 50 metres of a swimmer and another boat and 30 metres of the shore (50 metres on Lake Karapiro) go no faster than 5 knots (9.25 km per hour). There are also 5 knot designated areas on Lake Arapuni and Lake Karapiro.
Use an observer while towing, to keep a lookout so the skipper can focus on driving.
Skippers can go to www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/ boatsafety for more information or phone the council’s navigation safety team on 0800 800 401.