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Time for boaties to check their safety equipment

Published: 7 December 2018

As boaties head out on the water this summer, Auckland's Harbourmaster is reminding everyone to stay safe.

Harbourmaster Andrew Hayton says all boaties should know the rules and be prepared with the right equipment on board.

"Every boat must have a suitable lifejacket for every person on board and if the boat is six metres or smaller, everyone on board must wear their lifejacket unless the skipper says it is safe to take it off.

"Boaties also need to remember that the rules differ between regions, for instance if you're venturing to the Coromandel, lifejackets are compulsory at all times."

Captain Hayton says it makes good sense for everyone to wear their jacket or to keep it close so they can reach it quickly.

"Drowning is consistently the third highest cause of unintentional death in New Zealand and everyone on the water must respect and appreciate the risks of being at sea. Our advice is that if you have it, wear it."

He says if you're planning a trip on the water, make sure to tell a friend or loved one and be sure to check in regularly. Communication equipment is also an essential part of safe boating so be sure that you have either a VHF radio, mobile phone, distress beacon or flares on board. A VHF radio is the best option.

"It's also very important that you keep your cellphone in a waterproof container so it is ready for use."

If there's an emergency call 111 or broadcast a message on VHF channel 16.

Captain Hayton says remember to keep your speed to five knots or less when sailing around people, other vessels and the shore and always drink responsibly.

Harbourmaster patrol vessels will be on the water around Auckland throughout the summer.


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