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Safer Boating Week All Year

Safer Boating Week might have started but Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Harbourmaster says that the basic messages about lifejackets and communications are for all year round.

Safer Boating Week runs from today, 13 October, to Friday 20 October.  The message this year is Prep, Check and Know – Prepare your craft, check your gear and know the rules.  Daily updates are on Facebook:Saferboating.

Harbourmaster Moore is reinforcing the messages about wearing a lifejacket and carrying two forms of communication when people are out on the water.   A fully charged cellphone in a ziplock plastic bag is a good communication solution.

“If you can’t float or call for help, we can’t rescue you! Plan ahead for what might go wrong  - not just for a great time on the water,” says Harbourmaster Martin Moore.

“Whether you are on a boat with a radio, a jetski, or kayak, just zip your cellphone into a plastic bag and put it in your lifejacket pocket.”

For the past two weeks, he has been reinforcing the lifejacket message with children at school holiday programmes.

“Children really get the message, and most adults are pretty good about wearing lifejackets now. However some people still don’t see the risk, even though 60% of fatalities were due to people not wearing lifejackets– just think of the tragedy at the Kaipara Bar last year.”

In Hawke’s Bay waters, it is compulsory to wear a lifejacket on all craft shorter than 6 metres.  On bigger boats the skipper must have enough lifejackets to fit everyone on board, including children, and instruct people to put them on when conditions get dodgy.

The Safer Boating team will be at the children’s fishing competition at the Sports Fishing ramp on Sunday 15 October to remind children about lifejackets.  Harbourmaster Moore will also be at the Safe Napier event focusing on water safety at Spriggs Park Ahuriri on 28 October.

13 October 2017

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