Auckland Harbourmaster, Andrew Hayton, is very pleased with the level of compliance with the carrying and wearing of lifejackets on the Manukau Harbour.
After recent patrols, dozens of boats were checked to ensure that they were complying with lifejacket rules.
Only one was found with an insufficient number on board. This vessel was subsequently escorted back to the boat ramp and the skipper will receive a $200 dollar infringement fine.
It is a legal requirement for every pleasure craft in New Zealand to carry a correctly sized, serviceable lifejacket for each person on board. On a boat which is 6 metres long or smaller, everyone on board must wear their lifejacket unless the skipper says it is safe to take off.
“The lifejacket message seems to be getting through which is great as there’s no doubt that wearing one can save your life," said Captain Hayton. "Unfortunately, drowning continues to be a key cause of unintentional death in New Zealand and everyone must remember to always be alert when out at sea.”
Captain Hayton said that it makes good sense for everyone to wear their jacket or to keep it close so that they can reach it quickly.
“Our advice continues to be that if you have it, wear it.”
Working on making Waiuku safer
While in the Manukau, a harbourmaster patrol vessel also navigated as far as Waiuku wharf. Quite a lot of work has been done by the Harbourmaster's department on the Manukau over the last couple of years with some new navigational beacons in the Waiuku Channel and new safety signage at all of the boat ramps.
Captain Hayton added that his team are continuing to look into other measures and are considering installing some additional navigational marks in the southern part of the Waiuku channel in the future.
“Unfortunately, speed is still an issue with several vessels observed exceeding 5 knots within 200 metres of the shore. The area off Grahams Beach and Hudsons Beach are marked with 5 knot buoys so no vessel should be exceeding that speed when transiting inside the yellow buoys.
The Auckland Harbourmaster is a unit of council-controlled organisation Auckland Transport.
Visit Auckland Transport for more information about the Harbourmaster and his team or phone 09 362 0397.
Read more about the role of the Harbourmaster.