Boat safety cam­paign

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

Mar­itime NZ, the Lake Taupo¯ Har­bour­mas­ter and 13 coun­cils are run­ning an ex­tended No Ex­cuses cam­paign for re­cre­ational boat­ies not car­ry­ing or wear­ing life­jack­ets and those who speed on the wa­ter.

Mar­itime NZ deputy di­rec­tor Sharyn Forsyth said ac­tion will be taken against boat­ies who break life­jacket and speed rules. This will in­clude in­fringe­ment no­tices of up to $300, depend­ing on each area’s by­laws.

No Ex­cuses be­gan in the sum­mer of 2016 with Mar­itime NZ and eight coun­cils. Last sum­mer 10 coun­cils chose to join in, and this year this has in­creased to 14 (in­clud­ing Lake Taupo¯ , whose Har­bour­mas­ter is em­ployed by the Depart­ment of In­ter­nal Af­fairs). The pe­riod of the cam­paign has also been ex­tended, start­ing two months ear­lier than pre­vi­ous years. It will con­tinue to March.

The Mar­itime Trans­port Act and coun­cil by­laws re­quire car­ry­ing and wear­ing life­jack­ets. The five knot rule is in place within 200m of shore and divers, and within 50m of swim­mers and other boats.

The cam­paign will be run for five days by each coun­cil and on Lake Taupo¯ at dif­fer­ent times un­til March 31.

Each Har­bour­mas­ter will be let­ting boat­ies know that en­force­ment ac­tion will hap­pen some­time dur­ing sum­mer. Spe­cific days will not be pub­li­cised.

Har­bour­mas­ters are pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional staff, time and re­sources to the cam­paign, on top of safer boat­ing work they al­ready do. Har­bour­mas­ters’ staff and Mar­itime NZ’s Mar­itime Of­fi­cers will be on the wa­ter work­ing to­gether.

“Up to two-thirds of re­cre­ational boat­ies who died might have been saved if they wore life­jack­ets,” Ms Forsyth said.

“Boat­ies speed­ing in busy ar­eas is dan­ger­ous and can in­jure chil­dren, swim­mers, divers and peo­ple in small craft. Our ex­pec­ta­tion is that safe boat­ies fol­low the rules each and ev­ery time they go on the wa­ter. There are no ex­cuses for break­ing the rules and caus­ing risk to your­self and oth­ers.”

Photo / File

Lake Taupo¯ Har­bour­mas­ter Heath Cairns.

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