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“Dangerous wharf jumping must stop”

“Dangerous wharf jumping must stop”

February 12, 2001

Auckland Harbourmaster James McPetrie says people must cease the dangerous practice of jumping off wharves before tragedy strikes.

Trouble spots include Devonport, Birkenhead and Fisherman’s wharves where there has been a recent increase in jumpers and swimmers, both during the day and at night.

“The hot weather in the Auckland region is obviously making the waters irresistible to many but jumping off busy wharves, where ferries are trying to berth, is a very hazardous and illegal way of cooling off,” Mr McPetrie says.

“Auckland’s maritime bylaws prohibit diving and swimming within 50 metres of any wharf, jetty or quay which is regularly used for berthing ferries.

“The issue is one of safety and we urge people to stop this foolish and dangerous activity before someone is seriously injured or worse.”

Fullers Auckland, whose ferries regularly berth at Birkenhead and Devonport, is also very concerned about the dangers posed by the wharf jumpers.

Operations manager Phil Andrew says over the weekend his skippers reported children jumping off Birkenhead wharf at the same time as the ferry was trying to berth and the behaviour at Devonport was not much better.

“The wind and tide makes berthing a ferry a very precise exercise and obviously trying to manoevre a boat around kids swimming in the water is doubly difficult and poses a risk both to those in the water and the passengers and crew on board,” he says.

The Harbourmaster says he and his ARC Maritime Operations team will be keeping a close eye on the trouble spots in an effort to ensure the safety of all harbour users.

For further information please call:
James McPetrie, Auckland Harbourmaster, Phone 361-2406, Mobile 025 516 910
Simon Roche, ARC Communications, Phone 366-2000 ext 8100, Mobile 021 656 380

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