Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Boat cops harden up

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Maritime New Zealand’s “no excuses” campaign against speeding boaties and those without lifejackets is being unleashed over about five days this summer.

Boaties who break councils’ lifejacket and speed rules will be given infringement notices, which in the Bay of Plenty will be a $200 fine.

The ‘no excuses’ trial will be run for about five days by each council at different times during summer., says Maritime NZ, director Keith Manch.

“Each regional council will be letting boaties know in their communities that enforcement action will happen sometime during summer. The specific days when this action will occur will not be publicised.

“Our expectation is that safe boaties follow the requirements each and every time they go on the water.”

After summer, the trial will be reviewed and decisions made about whether it will be extended in future.

“We are focusing on boaties who do not carry or wear lifejackets as required by the Maritime Transport Act and Regional Council bylaws, and also unsafe speed because they are two of the biggest risks of death and injury.”

An incident in Hawke’s Bay earlier last month highlights the trouble people can carelessly get themselves into, says Hawke’s Bay Harbourmaster Martin Moore.

A power boat had three people on board, the two passengers were wearing lifejackets but the skipper was not.

One of the passengers, who could not swim and was afraid of the water, got onto a “biscuit” that was towed by the boat.

The passenger fell off the biscuit and panicked. The skipper jumped in to help but the passenger left on board did not know how to drive the boat.

High winds began to blow the boat away from the people in the water and out to sea.

The skipper and the passenger who had fallen off the biscuit were struggling in the water. By good luck, two cray fishermen saw them, came to the rescue, and also helped retrieve the boat.

Police and the Harbour Master’s Office are now involved and further action is possible.

Up to two-thirds of recreational boaties who died might have been saved if they wore lifejackets, says Keith.

“Wearing your lifejacket is the single most important thing you can do to avoid drowning if you end up unexpectedly in the water.

“Boaties speeding in congested areas are dangerous and can cause injuries to children, swimmers, divers and people in small craft. There is a five knot speed limit when you are near the shore, swimmers, divers and other boats.

“For Maritime NZ it is an important addition to the mix of education and promotional activities that we traditionally use to encourage safer boating.

“The intention is to deter those boaties who do not prioritize safety and choose to break the rules. Our aim is to reduce boating fatalities and injuries.”

Both the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Waikato District Council are taking part.

Comments on SunLive

Rabbit's bro

Posted on 03-01-2017 10:18 | By TheCameltoeKid

You clearly have missed my point. My objection is not about whether or not I should wear a lifejacket, it’s with fingerwaggers like you telling me what to do. You clearly think it’s your divine right to control the way other people go about their buisness and I hate that! And what’s the difference between a surfer and a standup paddleboarder apart from the paddle and size of the board? What else do you want Rabbit? Pedestrians walking along the water’s edge wearing lifejackets in case they fall in? Rabbit, go jump in the lake! Just don’t forget your stupid lifejacket!
Darwin award

Posted on 03-01-2017 06:59 | By Cory tauranga

I was paddleboarding in wimarino river on a flat calm day and the harbour master told me she would fine me next time, thier were people swimming not far from me with no life jackets on. If i was on a small craft in bad weather i would definitely wear a life jacket. Those who don’t could be nominated for a Darwin award
Coastguard Sparks

Posted on 02-01-2017 23:58 | By Rabbit's Bro

Clearly Mr Cameltoes belongs to the "I’m invincible and It will never happen to me brigade. Boaties can buy inflatable personal floatation devices that you hardly notice are on when you’re fishing. I am disappointed to hear that there are silly people around who put their own lives and those of others at risk. A dead flat sea can change to a mountainous sea rather fast, and a big wave can rapidly sink a boat unbelievably fast with a loss of life. Eg the ML Francie in Kaipara. And yes surfers do drown but they are generally close inshore and have a board as their PFD. But yes they often have to be Mr Cameltoes instead of threatening to punch the law enforcement people try thanking then for showing you the folly of your waysFrom being safe in a dry boat to being dumped into the watert
Another unenforceable rule.

Posted on 02-01-2017 17:36 | By TheCameltoeKid

Why do I need yet another law to help me to be protected from myself? So if I’m going out fishing for the day and it’s flat water and clearly safe as humans have been doing for thousands of years I now need a lifejacket. What’s that going to do to my all over tan? Seriously, There are instances where a lifejacket should be worn however I dispute the fact that a lifejacket should be worn all the time your on the water. What’s next? Do we make surfers wear the things? And where do standup paddleboarders fit into this? I think alot of the fingerwaggers that try to enforce this law are going to end up with a fat lip and biffed into the drink!
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