Photo / GCH UAV
Boaties in the Marlborough Sounds are in for a surprise from above this weekend, as the local harbourmaster trials delivering safe boating messages by drone with a clip-on sound system in what is believed to be a New Zealand-first
Harbourmaster, Luke Grogan, got the idea after seeing the technology used for Covid-19 responses globally, the Marlborough District Council said in a statement.
“Middle age blokes are often pretty resistant to the safer boating message but it’s this group that dominates the accident statistics,” said Grogan.
The ground-breaking project is being delivered in partnership with local radio station Brian Fm with funding from Maritime New Zealand.
“We hope that by combining drone technology with the humour and reach of Brian Fm it will be effective in encouraging people to get on board with safer boating.”
Hello earthlings...we come in peace from the planet Har-Bour-Mas-Ter... If you're out and about on or near Picton...Posted by Marlborough District Council on Thursday, 7 January 2021
Subject to weather, the drone will be operated from the Picton foreshore from 9.30am Saturday.
“Our main goal is to remind the boating public to operate at a safe speed but we will also be using the drone to reinforce other safer boating messages such as skipper responsibility, avoiding alcohol and making sure they have two forms of communication,” he said.
“We will also have a patrol boat on the water to reinforce the messages being delivered from above. If it goes well, we will move the drone to the different ports around the Marlborough Sounds throughout the summer.”