Boaties stay safe

Boaties enjoying the spectacular weather in Te Anau and Manapouri over Labour Weekend impressed harbourmaster Lyndon Cleaver with their commitment to safety.

The weekend is traditionally the start of the summer boating season in Southland and the weather proved a drawcard for hundreds to get out on the water as part of the annual Stabicraft fishing competition.

Lyndon said the weekend was also the launch of the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, which Environment Southland is partnering with Maritime New Zealand to carry out this summer.

The campaign is aimed at deterring those boaties who don’t prioritise safety and choose to break the rules, with a focus on the wearing of lifejackets on boats six metres and under, obeying speed limits and carrying two forms of working communication.

Lyndon said over the weekend they were impressed at the response from boaties, with no infringements handed out for breaches of the rules, and many rewarded with drink bottles and sunscreen for displaying good behaviour.

“There was a really good vibe out on the water, everybody was enjoying themselves and staying safe, wearing well-fitted lifejackets and sticking to the speed limits.”

In a small hiccup to the end of the weekend, a boat out on Lake Te Anau lost power on Monday morning and had no additional means of propulsion. Fortunately they had two forms of communication on board and were able to call for assistance.

“They did all the right things in this case and a nearby boat was actually able to tow them back in, but it is a good reminder of the need to plan for all possibilities. We recommend having a set of oars or a small secondary outboard as emergency backup.”

The ‘No Excuses’ campaign will continue throughout the summer, with popular boating areas in Te Anau, Manapouri, Bluff and Riverton to be targeted.

“We really want everybody to enjoy boating in Southland and we are saying this year there will be no excuses for breaking rules and those who put themselves and others at risk will be subject to penalties.”

Page reviewed: 23 Oct 2018 2:15pm