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Coastguard reminds boaties – take care this Labour Weekend (and remember the new rules!)

With a mostly sunny long weekend coming up, we wanted to urge our readers to take care on the water and remember the new rules that come into force today!

Labour Weekend marks the enforcement of a new bylaw, making it compulsory to wear a lifejacket when on board a vessel 6m or under in length, unless the skipper of that vessel gives you permission not to.

Coastguard New Zealand said Labour Weekend was traditionally a busy weekend on the water, and asked boaties to “get prepared and check their vessels before heading out on seas, lakes and rivers”.

Thorough planning and preparation can make the critical difference between a safe day out and a tragedy, said chief executive Patrick Holmes.

“We’ve already seen too many boating tragedies this year and it’s imperative to get prepared before heading out this Labour Weekend. 

“We encourage anyone in a boat to prepare adequately. A boat requires maintenance throughout the year but if the vessel has been neglected over winter it needs to be checked thoroughly before heading out on the water,” he said. 

Mr Holmes recommended skippers always tell someone where they are going and when they plan to return.

“It is vital that skippers know the Boating Safety Code and adhere to its five simple rules, including skipper responsibility and taking and wearing lifejackets.

“[Find] accurate tide and marine weather forecast information before you launch and have two separate waterproof communication devices on board.

“And remember, safe boating and alcohol don’t mix.”

– NZ Herald


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