So far this year there have been nineteen boating related deaths across the country says Maritime New Zealand. Of these, sadly six have been in the Bay of Plenty.
Local Harbourmaster Peter Buell says the statistics for Bay of Plenty are entirely disproportionate.
“Unfortunately a lot of these deaths have been preventable. Whether you have a kayak, Jetski, waka, sail or power boat, you must know the rules, have the right equipment, and be a responsible skipper,” says Mr Buell.
Over the holiday period Regional Council will have six to eight patrols on the water every day. No lifejackets and unsafe speed are two of the biggest risks of death and injury and the patrols help ensure boaties take this risk seriously.
When it comes to bar crossings boaties are also being reminded that this is one of the most dangerous things they will ever do on a boat.
"Its a high risk activity for even the most experienced boatie. A lifejacket must be worn when crossing a bar and if in doubt skippers shouldn't go out," says Mr Buell.
To find out how to be safe on the water and read up on this regions rules pick up a copy of Boating in the Bay of Plenty from our Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua or Whakatāne office or visit www.boprc.govt.nz/safeboating
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