Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Jet ski safety focus for Bay of Plenty summer

Jet ski safety focus for Bay of Plenty summer
For immediate release: 21 December 2012

Whitewater kayaking requires nerves of steel but Olympian Luuka Jones is the first to admit she gets nervous when she’s kayaking in the presence of jet skis.

Just as she loves taking on whitewater rapids, Jones also enjoys a quiet paddle on Rotorua’s lakes, especially during the summer months.
“I get a bit nervous whenever they’re nearby. Jet ski users like to go fast and I don’t think they realise how big a wake they leave or how close they get sometimes when they go by you,” says Jones.

“It can be pretty unnerving when jet skis go by, especially when you’re in a kayak.”

Jones is supporting a Bay of Plenty Regional Council safety campaign aimed at reducing the number of jet ski incidents on the region’s waterways and is urging jet ski users to keep others in mind when they’re out on the water this summer.

The number of jet skis on Bay of Plenty waterways has increased in recent years and so have the number of jet ski-related incidents, accidents and near misses. In January 2010 Rotorua teenager Bishop Thompson died in Lake Okareka after being hit and knocked off the back of a jet ski by another jet ski. He was not wearing a life jacket.

When it’s busy on the water, Jones says she needs to be aware of others around her and has become particularly wary of jet ski users.
“They go really fast and some of them just don’t seem to care that there are other people around them.

“Anyone out on the water needs to realise that there are others out there too, also wanting to enjoy themselves, and we all need to keep that in mind when we’re out on the water.”

Jones has enjoyed using jet skis herself once or twice but knows how powerful they can be and says safety must always come first when doing anything on the water.

It’s not compulsory to wear life jackets on a jet ski but Jones says she would never venture out on the water – in a kayak, a boat or on a jet ski – without wearing one.

“As a whitewater kayaker I know how unpredictable waterways can be and I’ve had a few close calls. You never know when something will go wrong. You always have to respect the water and if anything does go wrong, a life jacket can be a life-saver.”

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s summer campaign which Jones is endorsing aims to improve the behaviour of jet ski users on the region’s waterways. Harbourmasters, maritime officers and volunteers will be out in force over summer, reminding jet skiers of the rules and how to enjoy their fun safely.

Most jet ski incidents involve males aged 17 to 30 and in most cases, it comes down to inexperience, according to the region’s maritime staff.

Jet skis are as powerful and as fast as a car but under current laws anyone 15 or over can be in charge of one, no licence required. However, jet ski users must comply with the same maritime rules as boaties and like boaties, can be fined $200 for breaching those rules.

The Bay of Plenty Regional campaign will remind jet ski users of the rules governing the use of jet skis and will encourage them to wear life jackets rather than just stow them on board, which is all the law currently requires them to do. Jet ski users will also be encouraged to attend a Coastguard Day Skipper’s course to learn the rules and all they need to know to be safe.

A series of cartoons, posters, flyers and social media messaging are also part of the summer campaign which has been endorsed by Jones, Tauranga-based Kiwi pro surfer Matt Hewitt and the whanau of Bishop Thompson.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news