New Navigation Safety Bylaw requires dependable communications devices at all times
From Labour weekend 2014 new navigation bylaws will be put in place to ensure safety for all craft and personnel on water. Changes to the bylaw have made it compulsory to wear a lifejacket when onboard a vessel six metres or under in length and every boat is now required to carry a communication device at all times. The bylaw also stipulates that it will be an offence for anyone to be in charge of a vessel who is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
Relying solely on your mobile phone as your form of communication on the water isn’t recommended as it’s so easy to lose overboard or encounter reception black spots. Water Safety New Zealand recommends two reliable forms of communication be carried every time you go out on your boat.
“A hand-held waterproof marine VHF radio is the most reliable form of communication currently available to boaties. Using a VHF radio means that other vessels in the area will often hear a distress message and be the first on the scene” says Water Safety New Zealand.
To accommodate the communications aspect of the new bylaw and save your mobile phone from drowning, carry one of Icom’s highly-rated VHF handheld radios.
Globally-recognised as one of the leading providers of radio communication devices, Icom radios are made in Japan within a strict quality control environment. Icom is the official radio supplier of Coastguard Boating Education where all new boaties get trained on safe boating practices and it’s best selling VHF handheld radio, the IC-M23, is a must have when out on the water.
In the unfortunate case of it going overboard, it’s waterproof, floats on its back and flashes even when the battery is off. The unique flashing feature is strong enough to be spotted from a rescue helicopter at night in a man overboard situation. Water Safety New Zealand maintains that “every boat with a VHF radio should stay tuned to Channel 16, the distress channel, while at sea to provide the best possible safety network for all.”
Smaller and lighter than any other marine handheld radio on the market, the IC-M23 is able to provide one touch access to Channel 16. Distress calls can be made at the push of a button unlike a mobile phone where you have to dial numerous numbers for help if needed.
Icom’s IC-M23 has a tough, submersible construction which is equivalent to IPX7 (it can withstand up to one metre depth of water for 30 minutes). The unique AquaQuake draining function vibrates water from the speaker grill to keep the radio dry and ensures clear sound.
Many boaties have a fixed VHF radio mounted on their dashboards. However, if the radio or battery is swamped with a large amount of water, it stops working instantly. Icom’s IC-M304 VHF Marine Transceiver combats this issue by being IP67 rated which means it can withstand the submersion of up to one metre depth of water for half an hour. The IC-M304 has the new Force5Audio speaker that delivers impressive audio output with powerful bass. Like the IC-M23, it has AquaQuake to eject excess water from the speaker grill. With proven durability and reliability, the IC-M304 is available in black, white and grey with an optional cover. Submersible with a compact body, large LCD and powerful audio, the IC-M304 is the ideal dashboard mount radio.
Contact Icom NZ directly on 0800 744 062 for your nearest dealer or browse Icom’s full range of marine radios at icom.co.nz to make sure you have an Icom radio with you the next time you go out on the water. For more information on the new marine bylaw taking effect, visit Auckland Council’s website on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and be sure to have a safe boating season this year.