Safer Boating Week ends Friday, and with the start of Labour weekend here, there’s no better time to check your boat is safe and prepared to get out on the water over summer. Coinciding with the Labour Weekend, new Auckland Council Navigation bylaws also come into effect from Saturday.
Friday marks the end of Safer Boating Week and with Labour Weekend nearly here, NZ Marine says there’s no better time to check your boat is ready for a safe and enjoyable boating experience this summer.
Now’s the time to ensure your engine’s serviced, your battery’s up to standard, and your boat’s full of fresh fuel. The start of the boating season is also a good time to familiarise yourself with your local bylaws, and this is particularly important for Aucklanders this year with new bylaws taking effect on the 25 October.
The Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014 was created to balance the interests of water users with safety considerations. From this Saturday it will be compulsory to wear a lifejacket when onboard a vessel six-metres or under in length, unless the skipper of that vessel gives you permission not to. Other key changes in effect from Labour weekend mean it’s now compulsory to carry a communication device, it will be an offence for anyone to be in charge of a vessel who is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and the bylaws will also see an improvement to the management systems for moorings.
To keep you safe on the water this weekend, the NZ Marine Industry has seven key points to safer boating.
1: Have a lifejacket onboard for each person.
2: And if your boat’s under six-metres, make sure you’re wearing them at all times.
3: Always check the weather forecast before you leave.
4: Tell someone where you’re going every time you leave the dock or beach.
5: Have two forms of communication; for example a cellphone in a ziplock bag and a VHF radio.
6: Make sure you check your safety equipment before you set off.
7: Before the season starts ensure the engine is serviced, the battery up to standard and the boat has fresh fuel.
The first ever Safer Boating Week ran from the 17 to 24 October and was organised by the National Pleasure Boat Safety Forum, chaired by Maritime NZ. The three key focuses of the week – prepping the boat, checking safety gear and knowing rules around water – were communicated to boaters through a series of events around the country.
For more on Safer Boating Week, see Maritime NZ, follow Safer Boating Week on Facebook, and like NZ Marine to keep up with news. Watch the Coastguard Boating Education’s Safer Boating Tips video, here.