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Coastguard prepares for busy ‘extended’ Easter break

Coastguard prepares for busy ‘extended’ Easter break

Coastguard is preparing for a busy Easter period with many people taking advantage of a longer holiday by blending the Easter break with Anzac Day weekend. They are urging boaties to be prepared and to be aware of the potential for increased numbers of people enjoying water activities.
Coastguard New Zealand CEO Patrick Holmes says many Kiwis will be taking an extended 10 day holiday and be out on the water ahead of the winter months setting in.

“During the Easter break last year we carried out 120 rescue missions and we are anticipating an increase this year as people take a last break before the cooler months hit,” says Mr Holmes. “It can get crowded out there and people should adjust their speed and course in line with both the conditions and the applicable regulations.”

Preparation and safety should remain top of mind for those heading out on the water, and at this stage of the boating season people may slip into a false sense of security if they have been using their boat regularly.

“Of the 120 rescues last Easter, over half (55%) were due to mechanical and electrical issues. It is a pattern we’ve seen before.”

“Before heading out this holiday, please ensure your boat is water-ready. Check electrical connections for corrosion, make sure your boat batteries are fully charged, that you have plenty of fuel for the trip, that your life jackets are in good condition and ensure you have at least two forms of communication to call for help if required, ideally a marine VHF radio as your main form of communication,” adds Mr Holmes.

Over the summer months Coastguard search and rescue volunteers assisted 2,915 people needing help on the water across the country. A large number of people are expected to head out on the water over Easter. It’s an ideal time to remind people of the importance of being prepared and to be aware of general boat safety to combat common mistakes.

“Preparation is always the key and we hope that Kiwis are safe on the water during the Easter break before winter is upon us,” says Mr Holmes.

Visit www.coastguard.co.nz for more boating safety and education information.

Should you be using your boat less regularly or placing it in storage, Coastguard encourages you to think now about proper maintenance and preparation for storage over the winter months.


-Ends-

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