Safer Boating Week scheduled for 17-24 October

By: Media Release

The week of October 17-24 has been declared Safer Boating Week this year, in what will become an annual focus on keeping boaties safe in the lead up to Labour Weekend.

Safer Boating Week scheduled for 17-24 October
17-24 October 2014 has been declared Safer Boating Week.

Members of the National Pleasure Boat Safety Forum, chaired by Maritime NZ, will run a range of activities in the week aimed at getting three simple messages through to boat owners.

These include:

  • Prepare your boat before you go out in it and make sure it's safe
  • Checking that you have the right gear and safety equipment before you leave shore, and making sure it's working
  • Knowing the rules and knowing what to do if something goes wrong

Safer Boating Week's activities would be led by Maritime NZ, Water Safety New Zealand, NZ Search and Rescue Council, New Zealand Coastguard, Coastguard Boating Education, the NZ Marine Industry Association and Waikato Regional Council.

Activities during Safer Boating Week will range from the light-hearted – a national photo competition showing lifejackets being worn across a range of locations – to the serious business of bar crossings, carrying emergency communications and boat maintenance.

Maritime NZ will lead activities around lifejackets and regulation. Maritime Officers will be at boat ramps around the country doing lifejacket checks and providing safety advice to boaties.

Water Safety NZ's focus will be drowning prevention, including cold water shock.
Coastguard Boating Education will focus on skipper education, while Coastguard NZ will highlight the need for vessel maintenance and rescue operations.

NZSAR will promote beacon registration and use of emergency communications.

The NZ Marine Industry Association will coordinate information about safety equipment and boats.

Maritime NZ deputy director and forum chair Lindsay Sturt commented: "We know one in every three New Zealanders goes out on the water. Messing about in boats is a national passion, but last year 19 people, mainly men, didn't make it home. So far this year, 14 boaties have already died."

"Preparation is essential before heading out on the water," Mr Sturt added. "When things go wrong, they tend to go wrong very quickly. Being prepared will save lives. We believe Safer Boating Week will deliver some serious information, great prizes and fun activities and look forward to it becoming an annual highlight of the boating calendar."

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