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Coastguard Urges Boating to Keep Safe on the Water

Coastguard Urges Boating to Keep Safe on the Water

Coastguard CEO, Patrick Holmes implores boaties to keep safe this weekend. For a large number of Kiwis this coming weekend is a holiday and the weather forecast is looking good. Kiwi’s love to spend time in and on the water and Holmes urges boaties to abide by the Boating Safety Code before heading out this weekend.

It’s really easy he says, “the five simple rules of Boating Safety Code could save your life. Furthermore, just having life jackets on board the boat is not enough as there simply is no time to look for life jackets, put them on when it’s all going horribly wrong. Take them – wear them; it’s your best protection”.

The five simple rules are:
1. Life jackets. Take them – wear them.
Boats, especially ones under 6m in length, can sink very quickly. Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time in the water.
2. Skipper responsibility.
The skipper is responsible for the safety of everyone on board and for the safe operation of the boat. Stay within the limits of your vessel and your experience.
3. Communications.
Take two separate waterproof ways of communicating so we can help you if you get into difficulties.*
4. Marine weather.
New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.
5. Avoid alcohol.
Safe boating and alcohol do not mix. Things can change quickly on the water. You need to stay alert and aware.

Coastguard’s volunteers are on call 24/7 and will be there when you need them. However, they’d prefer not to meet you under search and rescue conditions.

To download a copy of the Boating Safety Code visit

*Coastguard recommends that one of these is a marine VHF radio which allows one-to-many communication (rather than relying on a cell phone which is only one-to-one).


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