Waterline   

Safe boating

Waikato waterways can be a busy place over summer with various water activities going on at one spot.

Avoid being the danger this season by operating at safe speeds and looking out for others.

To help keep our waterways safe, make sure you are familiar with the boating safety code and the regional bylaws that are in place in your area before heading out on the water.

Always wear your lifejacket

It is recommended that everyone on board wears a lifejacket at all times. They must be worn on vessels 6m or less while moving and on all vessels at times of increased risk including when crossing a bar.

The 5-knot rule for the Waikato region varies depending on if you are boating on inland or coastal waters and applies to all recreational vessels, including jet skis.

In coastal waters you must keep to  5 knots or less within 200m of the shore, structures and boats or buoys displaying a dive flag. If you are inland, keep to  5 knots or less within 50m of structures and 30m of the shore.

In all waters, you must reduce your speed to 5 knots or less when within 50m of other vessels or people in the water.

It takes three to ski

If you are using your boat or jet ski for towing activities, you must:

•    have an observer on board, who is 10 years of age or older

•    travel in an anti-clockwise direction

•    keep your wake to a minimum if it could affect other boats, swimmers  and structures

•    not tow between sunset and sunrise.

Waterproof communication tools  are one of the most essential things to  take boating to increase your chances  of survival when faced with an  on-water incident.

If you can attach your communication tools to your lifejacket, so they are worn at all times, that’s even better!

Learn what type of communications are best suited for coastal or inland waterways, and make sure you are carrying at least two suitable forms while you are out boating this summer.

Made for New Zealand boaties, MarineMate is a smartphone app that allows you to access information on tide times, boat ramp locations, VHF channels, and local boating rules for the whole country. Download MarineMate from Google Play or the App Store today.

For more information on navigation safety in the Waikato, visit: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/boatsafety or phone: 0800 800 401.

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