Safer Boating Week (October 13-20) kicks off tomorrow with an important new message for boaties: if you can’t call for help, you can’t be rescued. Regional Council will be reinforcing this message at boat ramp workshops across the week (details below).
Bay of Plenty Harbormaster Peter Buell says Safer Boating Week has previously focused on lifejackets.
"Lifejackets and waterproof communications work together. A lifejacket helps you float and they have saved many lives, but if you can’t call for help then there’s no way to know you need rescuing,” he says.
“You need atleast TWO reliable ways to call for help that will work when wet. Whether it’s a marine VHF radio or cellphone in a waterproof bag. It’s not good enough to simply chuck your cell in your pocket and hope for the best,” says Mr Buell.
Eighty-six percent of boaties take lifejackets with them on their boats, and 76% now wear their lifejackets all or most of the time on the water.
But only 38% of boaties take two waterproof ways to call for help and the most common device they take is a cellphone.
“We can’t over-emphasise the importance of carrying waterproof communications,” Mr Buell says.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council is holding safer boating workshops (weather dependent) at the following boat ramps between 8am - 2pm:
- Sulphur Point, Tauranga (October 14 and 19)
- Whakatane (October 15)
- Bowentown and Omokoroa (October 21).