Transport Minister Simon Bridges wants boat users to make safety the top priority, as New Zealand’s first Safer Boating Week begins today.
“Safer Boating Week is an excellent initiative that raises the awareness of boat safety, and what risks are out there on the water. We have seen in the last few days the tragic consequences when something goes wrong,” Mr Bridges says.
“Labour weekend is the traditional time for boaties to prepare their boats and gear for summer. This year I’d like all boat users to take three simple steps to put the focus firmly on safety this summer: prep your boat, check your gear and know the rules.”
A new study commissioned by Maritime NZ shows most New Zealanders know what safe boating behaviour looks like – but they don’t always behave safely when they go out on the water.
“The study shows nearly 90 per cent of Kiwis believe lifejackets should always be worn, but only 70 per cent of boat users say they wear lifejackets. The same goes for carrying communications equipment. Most boaties agree they should be carrying two ways to call for help, but only half actually do.
“It is time for boaties to walk the talk. Last year 19 people died in boating accidents, and so far this year, 17 boaties have died. When things go wrong, they can go wrong very quickly. Being prepared can save lives.
Safer Boating Week runs from 17 October to 24 October with a range of activities planned around the country and is an initiative NZ Marine is very proud to support. For more information, please see SaferBoating.org.nz and follow the team on Facebook for updates.