We all need to look out for each other on the water. Call us on (04) 388 1911 or (04) 473 4547.

Know before you go

Know the safety basics before heading out on the water in any vessel - whether it's a powerboat, jetski, windsurfer, kayak or yacht.

  1. Wear a lifejacket that fits - Take enough jackets and make sure they're worn.
  2. Know the weather and tides - Check the latest marine forecasts and the tides before you go out.
  3. Make sure you can stay in touch - Have at least two communication devices that will work when wet eg. a cell phone in a bag, VHR radio, distress flares or an EPIRB.

On the water

You need to comply with the regional boating rules when you are out on the water, including:

  • Keep a lookout - avoid collisions - Watch for other vessels and swimmers in the water.
  • Be seen after dark - Have the correct navigation lights showing and listen to VHF Ch 14. This will keep you informed of what large commercial vessels are moving around the Wellington harbour and should help you to keep clear of them.
  • Travel at a safe speed - Keep below 5 knots if you are within 200 metres of shore or 50 metres of a person in the water or another vessel.
  • Avoid alcohol while on board - Know the guidelines and understand the risks of alcohol on board.
  • Might is right - small gives way! - Any vessels under 500 Gross Tonnes must keep clear of vessel over 500 Gross Tonnes. A 50 metre commercial fishing boat, and most powerboats will be under 500 gross tonnes.
  • It takes three to ski - If you are towing a water skier, wake boarder or inflatable tow toy or similar you must have a person who is over 10 years old as a lookout. Their job is to that watching the person being towed, and letting the driver concentrate on driving the boat.

Local legends tell us their best tips for respecting our local boating conditions

Find out more about safety on the water on the Maritime NZ website.

Read a summary of the navigation safety bylaws or download the full document

Updated December 1, 2021 at 2:06 PM