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MSA praises mobile phones in plastic bags

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 4 August 2004

MSA praises mobile phones in plastic bags

The Maritime Safety Authority has praised two men who were carrying their mobile phones inside plastic bags, when their runabout capsized on the Manukau bar on Auckland’s west coast yesterday. The men were rescued by a passing tanker.

“Putting your mobile inside a sealed plastic bag when you’re out boating is a simple additional safety measure that can save your life, as you can dial for help while your mobile remains dry,” said MSA recreational boating adviser Jim Lott.

This is the second boating accident in three months where a mobile in a plastic bag has been used to alert emergency services. On 31 May a kayaker who became separated from his kayak in Otago Harbour was rescued after calling 111 from his mobile phone which was strapped in a water-proof cover around his neck.

“Wearing your mobile around your neck or in your pocket is ideal, as you have it with you if something happens. However, boaties need to remember that mobile coverage is not as extensive as VHF radio coverage. Also, when using a VHF radio you’ll be communicating with anyone listening to Channel 16, which could include a nearby vessel. A waterproof VHF radio is always better, but a more expensive option than a mobile phone,” said Mr Lott.

MSA also praised the men for wearing lifejackets.

ENDS

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