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Boat check can save lives

Two-hour pre-season boat check can save lives on the water

Thursday 14 October 2004

A two-hour boat overhaul on land can save lives on the water this season, warns Environment Bay of Plenty.

Hundreds of boaties will be heading for the region’s harbours, lakes and coast over Labour Weekend, the traditional start of the boating season. For many, it will be their first time on the water for months, says regional harbourmaster Jon Moore.

“Unfortunately, some people haul their vessels out of storage, rush them into the water – and then find out, too late, that things are not right,” It may be a fuel problem, cracked fibreglass, or deteriorated life jackets. “It can get serious very quickly out there,” Mr Moore says. “It doesn’t pay to be careless when it comes to looking after your boat.”

He urges all boaties to have their engines serviced by a competent mechanic, and to carry out their own full pre-season check “All it takes is a couple of hours on the front lawn. You just have to get the gear out, check it over, clean it, and repair it if necessary - it’s very simple but it can safe your life, and the lives of your family and friends.”

The regime should include checking the hull, safety gear, machinery, cooling systems, petrol engines, electrical systems, cooking and heating, spare gear and tools. Mr Moore recommends brushing up on navigation and safety bylaws and maritime rules. Coastguard also runs a series of small boat safety courses that are very helpful, he adds.

ENDS

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