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Take care on the water over summer

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 12:00 p.m.

Anyone going out on the water this summer needs to take extra care to ensure their safety, Bay of Plenty’s Regional Harbour Master says.

Several incidents have occurred on the water in the Bay already, with three young Papamoa boys helping save a kayaker and his daughter, who were being pulled out to sea by a rip after their kayak flipped. Other boaties went out unprepared, their boats had not been serviced and they also needed rescuing.

“It’s vital that people put in the time now to ensure their own and others’ safety on the water over the summer. It’s simple things like servicing your boat, and wearing a lifejacket whenever you’re on the water,” he said.

“We encourage people to always wear a lifejacket that fits, including when they’re out on a jetski or kayak. Make sure children’s ones still fit, and that they are regularly serviced.

“If you own a boat, you’re responsible for its maintenance, and always know what you’re capable of on the water. Crossing a bar is one of the most dangerous things you’ll ever do in a boat so don’t try it unless you are confident you can do it safely, and always let the Coastguard know before you cross and once you’re safely across.”

Boaties should always have two forms of communication and carry them in waterproof containers, always check the weather before going out and avoid drinking on the boat.

“If in doubt, don’t go out. It’s as simple as that,” Mr Buell said.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Maritime team will be out on the harbours and lakes throughout the summer, along with voluntary wardens, who can provide advice about the area.

Tay St