6 Nov 2012

Boating safety courses on marae

6:48 am on 6 November 2012

A man who survived four days afloat in the ocean will be taking boating courses to marae to help raise water safety awareness among Maori.

Rob Hewitt was rescued off Kapiti Island in 2006 after a diving trip went wrong. He will hold day skipper courses at several North Island marae over the next six weeks.

Figures from Water Safety New Zealand show Maori make up more than 20% of drowning victims, which so far this year number 76.

Mr Hewitt says the three-day noho (stay-over) will provide good tikanga of boatmanship, and how to respond in an emergency.

He says bringing this kaupapa to the marae will help re-connect Maori to Tangaroa.

Attendees will gain a day skipper qualification.