Find out how to be safe around bridges, buoys and beacons in the Bay of Plenty.

Buoys and beacons

The waters of New Zealand are marked for safe navigation using the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) A maritime buoyage system.

Port hand markers

Shape: Can, pillar or spar.
Colour: Red.
Topmark: (if any) Red can.
Light: (if any) Red; any rhythm other than preferred channel

Port hand markers 

Starboard hand markers 

Shape: Conical, pillar or spar.
Colour: Green.
Topmark: (if any) Green cone.
Light: (if any) Green; any rhythm other than preferred channel

Starboard hand markers 

Preferred channel to Port

Shape: Conical, pillar or spar.
Colour: Green with red band.
Topmark: (if any) Green cone.
Light: (if any) Green composite group flash Fl (2+1).

Markers to Port 

Preferred channel to Starboard

Shape: Can, pillar or spar.
Colour: Red with green band.
Topmark: (if any) Red can.
Light: (if any) Red composite group flash Fl (2+1).

Markers to Starboard 

Isolated danger mark

To mark a small danger area with navigable water all around it.

isolated danger mark

Safe water mark

This does not mark a danger, but is used to mark mid channels or the beginning of a fairway.  There is safe water all around the mark. 

safe water mark 

Special mark 

Marks an area of special significance such as a cable or pipeline, a military exercise area, a recreation zone or marine farm or marine reserve.

special mark 

Cardinal marks

These marks indicate the side of any point of interest or danger on which it is safe to pass. The deepest water in that area is on the named side of the mark.

 

cardinal white

Diving

The Bay of Plenty has lots of recreational and commercial diving opportunities.

The following is a list of rules and recommendations:

  • Always dive in pairs and have an observer in the boat.
  • Do not dive in shipping lanes or areas of frequent traffic.
  • Agree to a dive plan, and then adhere to it.
  • Display the International Code A Flag from the dive boat.
  • Do not exceed 5 knots within 200 metres of a Code A flag.

The Code A Flag means: “I have a diver down, keep well clear at slow speed”. 

The dive flag must not be less than 600 mm by 600 mm in size and must be visible from a distance of 200 metres.

All craft must reduce speed to a maximum of five knots within 200 metres of a Code A Flag.

This flag may also be attached to a small marker buoy towed by a diver.

It may also be flown by craft escorting long distance swimmers.