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Good behaviour on the water over summer

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:00 a.m.

Most people have been obeying the rules while out on the Bay of Plenty’s waters over the summer break.

The region’s maritime officers and harbour wardens issued a total of 18 $200 infringement notices, and 31 warnings from 1 December. Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said the number of infringements and warnings was very small compared to the number of people using the water.

Speeding was the most common offence, with 25 boaties breaching the five knot rule within 200 metres of the shore, swimmers or another vessel. Nine people received an infringement notice or fine and the others received a warning.

On Rotorua lakes speeding was also an issue, stand up paddle boarders and kayakers not carrying or wearing a lifejacket and towing a water skier without an observer. 

Eight people were warned for not carrying a lifejacket or not wearing a personal flotation device while being towed. Five people were issued with an infringement notice and one warned for not having an observer while water skiing.

“Boaties in general are obeying the rules very well. Of course there are always exceptions and when these people are around they are very obvious. We will remain vigilant in our patrols,” Mr Buell said.

”Behaviour in the areas around boat ramps and beaches are very important. Our only real surprise this summer is the lack of understanding around lifejackets and paddle boards. In the surf you may be without a lifejacket provided you have your leg strap on. At all other times a lifejacket is required.”

Mr Buell said most people were very good when approached by the Harbour Master or a warden.

“We do get the occasional person who is a bit belligerent. We try and reinforce that we are just trying to keep everyone safe. Our officers have some leeway in issuing warnings or infringements depending on circumstances, behaviour and any history of breaches.”

He said maritime officers and harbour and lake wardens had stopped and chatted with more than 1000 people over the summer break, providing information and outlining boating rules.

Tuaranga Harbour Boats