Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Lives At Risk During West Coast Boat Launchings

22 December, 2008

Lives At Risk During West Coast Boat Launchings

Inexperienced and overconfident boaties are risking their lives launching and retrieving their vessels on Kaipara’s treacherous West Coast beaches, worried officials say.

The Northland Regional Council says over the past year there have been a dozen reported incidents where people have rolled – or lost control of – four to six metre vessels during launching or retrieval in the Baylys Beach/Kaipara coast area.

Jim Lyle, the Council’s Deputy Harbourmaster, says it is just pure luck that nobody has been seriously injured or drowned yet.

“In most of these cases the vessels were severely damaged, some occurred while children were aboard and in far too many cases people were not wearing lifejackets.

“People need to remember that launching and retrieving your vessel on West Coast beaches, particularly around Baylys and Ripiro Beaches, carries inherent risks.”

Mr Lyle suspects there have also been many similar incidents that have not been reported.

He says an increasing number of incidents involving “inexperienced and/or unprepared and overconfident boat owners” mean it is only a matter of time before lives are lost unnecessarily.

He says local knowledge is essential and launching vessels into the west coast surf is a job for experienced people only.

“This does not just mean a person experienced in boating, but a person experienced in actually launching and returning in these conditions.

“If you do not know the area, ask advice and watch the locals before even considering launching. Watch the surf for a period prior to launching, to gain an understanding of where the danger spots are, and where it is safer to launch and return.”

He says it’s both a legal and commonsense requirement that lifejackets are worn by everyone on board.

“This is a legal requirement in rough waters. Skippers need to remember that if someone on their vessel drowns - and was not wearing a correctly fitting lifejacket as warranted by the dangerous situation - the skipper will be held responsible.”

Mr Lyle says boats also need to be maintained in top condition with their engines properly serviced and checked before launching.

“All loose gear should be secured. Ensure you have the essentials; communication equipment, bailing system (ensure you have a bucket as well), an anchor, alternative power (oars or paddles), nav lights and a torch if going out after dark.”

Mr Lyle says boats need to carry at least two means of communication but three if going more than two miles offshore. These can include a VHF radio, flares, locator beacon or a cellphone and at least one these must be able to be used if it has been submerged…for example, a waterproof radio or by using a sealable waterproof bag for the VHF or cellphone.

Boaties need to tell someone responsible where they will be going and when they’ll be back so the alarm can be raised if necessary. Similarly, make a trip report to North Kaipara Coastguard Radio on VHF Channel 66 before leaving and again on your return.

“If you’re heading north of Maunganui Bluff (about 40km north-west of Dargaville) contact Hokianga Coastguard on VHF Channel 82.

“Lastly, check the weather, and if in doubt, don’t go.”

Mr Lyle says if anyone is unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident while launching or retrieving a boat, it’s vital that all the details are reported to the Northland Regional Council.

“This enables resources to be allocated where accidents happen and also gives others the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.”

Mr Lyle says details of accident reporting can be found by searching for ‘maritime forms, accident reporting’ on the Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Epic Fails Of Kris Faafoi

Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither been kind nor just, especially to the migrants whose skills New Zealand will need to get us through Covid, and grow the economy into the future... More>>

Covid-19 & Government: Government Green Lights Rapid Antigen Testing

Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall... More>>



Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>


Government: Books Show Resilient And Strong Economy
The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast... More>>

Healthcare: Health System Is Ready For Assisted-dying Law
The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>

Children's Commissioner: Call For Mandatory Vaccination Of Children’s Workforce
The Children’s Commissioner and Assistant Māori Commissioner are calling for a plan for the mandatory vaccination of teachers and the entire children’s workforce in New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels