Posted by Waikato Regional Council on 24/01/2014
Waikato Regional Council is reminding boaties to take extra precautions when heading onto the water.
The warning comes ahead of the anniversary long weekend and in the wake of several serious incidents this month at Raglan which could have ended tragically.
In two of the incidents subsequent inquiries by the council found there was little more the skippers could have done, but that the precautions taken had saved the lives of all those on board.
â€œIt just goes to show how even the most prudent boaties can get caught out,â€ said the councilâ€™s navigation safety programme manager, Nicole Botherway.
â€œWeâ€™re urging boaties heading out onto the water this weekend to have a heightened level of awareness around their equipment and abilities as a skipper.
â€œBars are not to be underestimated and the skipper is responsible for all people on board. If you go out on the water unprepared then you are taking an unnecessary risk with the lives that are in your hands,â€ Mrs Botherway said.
Before heading out boaties should follow five simple rules to help them stay safe:
1. Life jackets: take them â€“ wear them.
2. Skipper responsibility: you are responsible for everyone on board.
3. Carry communications: take at least two separate waterproof ways of communicating.
4. Marine weather: check the forecast first.
5. Avoid alcohol: sober skippers are responsible skippers.