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Videos aim to keep boaties safe over bars

Wednesday, 6 August 2014 10:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waikato Regional Council have joined forces to make the riskiest of navigation actions safer for boaties.

Bar crossings are a high risk activity for even the most experienced boatie. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has paired up with Waikato Regional Council with funding from ACC and Maritime NZ, and input from Coastguard and Police, to produce five bar crossing films.

ACC, Maritime NZ and Coastguard provided funding to produce the films, which walk boaties through key safety steps to ensure a safer bar crossing. The films include Bowentown, Kaituna and Maketu bars in the Bay of Plenty and Raglan and Tairua bars in the Waikato region. Making the films cost about $70,000.

Bay of Plenty regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said that because of the risks involved in bar crossings, the two Regional Councils were keen to get as much information as possible to boaties, especially before the summer boating season began.

“We want to teach people to make these crossings safely and the films will help people improve their boating behaviour in these dangerous situations. The films make it clear that there are three types of bar crossings – dangerous, very dangerous and extremely dangerous.”

Boaties are advised to check the weather within 12 hours of their trip, check the tide, alwaysavoiding a low or ebb tide, talk to locals about the bar conditions and contact Coastguard before and after making the crossing.

Everyone needs to wear a lifejacket, and loose items including anchors need to be tied down.

“As always, if in doubt don’t go out,” Mr Buell said.  

Bowentown