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Give Your Boat A ‘Warrant’ This Xmas

Give Your Boat A ‘Warrant’ Before You Hit The Water This Christmas

Auckland, 23 December 2009 – If you’re planning a festive season on the water, don’t leave shore until you’ve given your boat a full step-by-step safety check, says Coastguard.

To help boat-owners easily assess the seaworthiness of their vessel, Coastguard has launched a new online Boating Safety Guide, in association with a high-profile TV campaign urging boat owners to check their vessels, in time for the Christmas holiday period.

The Coastguard Boating Safety Guide is a handy “Warrant of Fitness”-style checklist to ensure key areas of boat safety are met, with 35 points covering everything from the engine to the hull, electrical, safety equipment and even weather.

Coastguard CEO Bruce Reid says, “The Christmas holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for boating, so it’s vital for skippers to check the condition of their vessels before they leave shore so that they can enjoy their time on the water.

“While cars and trailers have to comply with official safety regulations in New Zealand, there are no such regulations for watercraft, so it’s down to the owner to ensure their boat is in a safe condition for use. Skipper responsibility is the core principal of safe boating.

“The Boating Safety Guide makes it simple for boat owners to give their vessels a thorough DIY inspection, with a step-by-step checklist they can print out and tick off before they set out,” he says.

Some of the tasks the Guide recommends boat owners complete include having the engine serviced, changing the petrol if the boat has been sitting idle, checking the battery (as well as batteries on hand-help radios, GPS and torches), and performing a full check of all safety equipment, such as life jackets, flares, first aid kits, communication devices and the weather.

Mr Reid adds, “We hope the Boating Safety Guide will help New Zealand boaties stay safe on the water and make the most of the great Kiwi summer.”

ENDS

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