No Excuses safety boating campaign
Over 100 vessels were spoken to by GWRC, Maritime Police, and Maritime NZ staff on Saturday as part of a nationwide No Excuses boating safety campaign. On these days we will be placing a stronger emphasis on enforcement. This was our first No Excuses day and there will be four more before the end of March.
- All boats spoken to had sufficient lifejackets on board and on many boats they were being worn. Lifejackets must be easily accessible; on smaller boats (less than 6 metres in length) they should be worn as the smaller the boat the faster things can go wrong, even on a good day.
- Most boats had some means of communication. Having at least one means of communication is required under Wellington Regional Council Bylaws and at least one back up way of calling for help is recommended. Cellphones are fine, if they are in a waterproof bag, and you are able to use them in the bag. In an emergency dial 111.
- Dive flags are important when you have divers in the water, the more visible (bigger & higher) the better. Other boats need to be able to recognize a dive flag to keep clear, or if they have to get close slow down to less than 5 knots.
- Speed was the biggest safety issue we encountered and there will be some infringement notices issued for exceeding 5 knots within 200 metres of shore. Slowing down when near to the shore is a big safety consideration both to allow you more time to avoid obstructions and to keep clear of other water users.
Overall it was a pleasing result with the majority of boats fully on-board with the safety messages, and enjoying a great day on the water.
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