4 Jan 2019

Boaties urged to play it safe on the water

7:30 pm on 4 January 2019

Some words of advice to boaties from Maritime New Zealand - prep, check and know.

Generic boating shot.

Two incidents in the last three days has Maritime New Zealand concerned about the care boaties are taking on the water. Photo: 123rf.com

It follows an incident earlier today in which three people had to be rescued after their boat capsized off the Wairarapa coast.

Police worked with surf lifesavers to pull them to safety.

Earlier this week five people had to be rescued in Northland after their boat also capsized - none of the five people, including children, were wearing lifejackets.

Baz Kirk from Maritime New Zealand said safety should be the top priority for all boaties.

"Thinking about what it is that you're going to be doing so the preparation of your vessel and gear; understanding the weather and just making sure that the gear you are taking, the boat you're using and the people on board are all well-prepared for the day."

Mr Kirk said that's covered off by the prep, check and know mantra.

"Know the rules, know the weather and be prepared for what it is that you're going to do and don't take anything too lightly."

Mr Kirk said the number of people using life jackets has grown, with around 60 to 70 percent of boaties now wearing them.

He said the number of boaties carrying life jackets has also risen, but there is still room for more improvement and he isn't sure why more people don't use the vital safety equipment.

"It could be complacency, it could be a cultural thing.

"When you look at the risk demographic, older aged males 40+ feature way too high in the fatality stats and historically two thirds of all boating fatalities could have been prevented by wearing life jackets and that probably tells a story on its own."

Mr Kirk said boaties need to be prepared for anything because if something unexpected happens at sea things can go radically wrong.