No ex­cuse for not wear­ing life­jacket

Waipa Post - - News -

On Fri­day Mar­itime NZ, 13 coun­cils, in­clud­ing Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil, and the Lake Taupo¯ Har­bour­mas­ter are start­ing 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 the cam­paign is start­ing in South­land this year, with En­vi­ron­ment South­land Har­bour­mas­ter’s staff and Mar­itime NZ Mar­itime Of­fi­cers on the wa­ter to­gether dur­ing the Te Anau Fish­ing Con­test.

Other coun­cils and Lake Taupo will be join­ing in be­tween now and March.

Coun­cils will take ac­tion 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 still 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 No Ex­cuses cam­paign will be run for five days by each of the coun­cils and on Lake Taupo¯ at dif­fer­ent times be­tween to­day and the end of March next year.

Each Har­bour­mas­ter will be let­ting boat­ies know in their com­mu­ni­ties that en­force­ment ac­tion will hap­pen some­time dur­ing sum­mer. The spe­cific days will not be pub­li­cised.

Har­bour­mas­ters are pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional staff, time and re­sources to the cam­paign, on top of the safer boat­ing work they al­ready do.

Dur­ing the cam­paign Har­bour­mas­ter staff and Mar­itime NZ’s Mar­itime Of­fi­cers will be on the wa­ter work­ing to­gether.

Mar­itime NZ has made fund­ing avail­able to Har­bour­mas­ters.

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

“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 / Mar­itime NZ

Wear­ing life­jack­ets and obey­ing speed rules will be the fo­cus of the No Ex­cuses cam­paign this sum­mer.

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