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Foxton boaties now much safer

Foxton boaties now much safer

Friday, 20 December 2013 - 10:39am

Central

The Manawatu Marine Boating Club, in conjunction with Coastguard Manawatu and the Foxton Beach Surf Life Saving Club has this week completed the installation of a Marine radio repeater on Marine Channel 64.

The new repeater is located on the Foxton Surf Lifesaving Club building enabling wider and much improved coverage to the marine community operating off the coast of Foxton, Himatangi, and Waitarere.

It complements marine repeater coverage from the Kapiti area which operates on Channel 84, the Wanganui area which operates on Channel 85, and Tangimoana which operates on Channel 61.

Central District Police Search and Rescue Co-ordinator, Sergeant Bill Nicholson said: "This is a great step forward in assisting with boating safety as well as command and control for search operations along this coast. We can now talk directly to search assets from Palmerston North Search and Rescue base if need be."  

"Prior to this Foxton Sports Radio operated on Marine Channel 77 with limited line of sight communications from Foxton Beach with incomplete coverage especially for vessels operating close to shore at Waitarere. The new channel has now eliminated those dead spots," he said.  

The Manawatu Marine Boating Club operates a team of volunteer radio operators who log vessel movements along this coastline adding to their safety.

Should a vessel become overdue they have strict protocols to follow for notifying the Police.

Over the next few weeks Foxton Sports Radio operators will be encouraging all boaties to switch from Channel 77 to Marine Channel 64. They will at all times be monitoring both channels to ensure a seamless migration.

Manawatu Coastguard President, Eddie Bambury said: "We are excited at the prospect of advancing the coverage for the safety and wellbeing of all persons at sea in their area."

Soon recording software for Channel 64 will be installed enabling the ability for immediate playback of radio transmissions, a handy tool in times of emergency.

"We are pleased that the close working relationship between Foxton Sports Radio and Coastguard Manawatu continues to thrive," said Rebecca Carl, Central Region Manager for Coastguard.

Marine Search and Rescue Advisor, Tony Groome, said: "It is fantastic to see this long standing radio service advance forward with the installation of this new repeater on this coast." 

"This has been a collaborative approach between the Manawatu Marine Boating Club, Foxton Surf Life Saving, Coastguard Manawatu and Police Search and Rescue," said Sergeant Nicholson. 

"We would like to remind boaties to have two forms of communication, one being at least a marine radio and preferably an emergency locator beacon.

"Cell phones should not be relied on as the primary means of communication as coverage can be patchy off the coast," he said.

Lifejackets should also be worn at all times by all persons on any vessel.

ENDS

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