13 January 2023

Excessive speed and a lack of lifejackets from recreational boat users continue to provide the biggest headaches for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbourmaster team.

From Labour weekend to January 10 patrols have handed out breach notices to 94 skippers for speeding violations and to 86 for breaking lifejacket rules. 345 breaches have been handed out in total.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbourmaster Jon Jon Peters says across the region they’ve interacted with over 1700 boaties and it’s disappointing that many are still ignoring the rules.

“Again, the biggest culprits are power boat and jetski users, but we are seeing an increase in kayak and paddleboard users not carrying lifejackets or personal floatation devices,” Mr Peters says.

Of the 86 lifejacket breaches, 22 were kayakers and 17 stand-up paddleboarders.

“The stark reality is we had two people drown on Rotorua lakes last year who were in kayaks and not wearing lifejackets.”

Two-thirds of the speeding violations were committed by jetski operators.

Mr Peters says jetski owners also need to remember their craft must be registered and that if you own a powered vessel over 4m it must be named.

Those using craft on the water can face a $200 fine for breaching the rules.

Mr Peters says it’s great to see the majority of boaties have been sticking to the rules and been great to deal with.

- ENDS -