Boat safety ad­vised

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

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.

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