16 Jan 2018

Water speed gun trial catches out dangerous boaties

1:07 pm on 16 January 2018

Marlborough's harbourmaster says a trial of water speed guns in his region has picked up too many speeding boaties.

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Photo: 123RF

Maritime New Zealand has funded a $25,000 trial of two laser speed guns in Marlborough, to show how they could be used by other councils.

Nationwide, boaties must not exceed five knots within 200 metres of shore and within 50 metres of swimmers, divers and other boats.

But the Marlborough Harbourmaster, Luke Grogan said compliance with speed rules wasn't great - in a two-hour trial last week ten recreational boaties were caught speeding.

"We had vessels passing withing 60 metres of the shore, well in excess of 20 knot, at the same time we had swimmers in the water [who were] 30 to 40 metres off shore. So it's that kind of activity where the danger is very and the risk is very real," he said.

Mr Grogan said his office got lots of emails and phone calls complaining about boaties speeding close to shore and in busy areas.

"Speeders are unhappy when we catch them but their speed puts children, swimmers, divers and other boats at risk."

Luke Grogan said maritime officers would be back on the water today and anyone caught speeding could receive a $200 fine.

Maritime NZ Acting Director, Nigel Clifford, said the trial in Marlborough was going well.

"The speed guns have good range and good accuracy, and other councils are keen to see the results we are getting," he said.

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