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Harbour safety rules for boaties to remember

11 January 2006

Harbour safety rules for boaties to remember

Auckland Regional Council Harbourmaster John Lee-Richards is reminding all boaties and jetski operators that there are safety rules to follow when out on the water this summer.

"Recently, there have been serious incidents caused by powerboat and jetski riders failing to keep a proper lookout and colliding with kayakers and swimmers," John Lee Richards says.

"Water users must be aware that congestion on our harbours is now a major issue and it's imperative that a good lookout is kept for others on the water, especially when visibility is reduced by sun strike."

Another safety issue the Harbourmaster would like to address is the use of lighting on boats, jetskis, yachts and kayaks.

"Correct navigational lighting needs to be used for every vessel using the harbour. Often people don't realise their vessel or kayak can't be seen at night and poses a safety threat."

"In addition, people are not permitted to fish or anchor in the main shipping channels, the Telecom cable area and the new Motuihe Channel fast ferry lane, and they must keep well away from all other restricted danger zones.

"This is to allow safe, unobstructed passage for commercial vessels and helps to separate recreational and commercial vessels.

"There are plenty of safe anchorages like the Noises, Waiheke, Rangitoto, Tiritiri Matangi and Sergeant Channel, which are all popular fishing spots."

John Lee-Richards says boaties need to make sure their speed is appropriate to suit the conditions.

"When a boat is within 200m of the shore or any structure, 50m of another vessel or 200m of a vessel flying a 'divers' flag, it must not exceed five knots."

Unsupervised children and inflatable boats are also a concern.

"Over the last few years there have been incidents involving inflatable toy boats bought for children for Christmas. Without close adult supervision, these toys and the children on board can be carried out to sea by the wind or tide."
"Children should be encouraged to enjoy the water, but under close adult supervision."

ENDS

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