Maritime NZ to crack down on unsafe boaties

By Regan Paranihi

Maritime NZ and nine councils across New Zealand will be starting a “No Excuses” campaign tomorrow that aims to target recreational boaties for speeding or failing to wear life jackets.

Keith Manch, Director of Maritime NZ says the council will not hold back anymore and will dish out infringement notices of up to $300 to those boaties who fail to follow the Maritime Transport Act and council bylaws for carrying and wearing a life jacket and speeding.

Manch says, "We are focusing on [lack of] life jackets and unsafe speed because they are two of the biggest risks of death and injury.”

Between 1 December 2017 and 31 March 2018 the nine councils will run the “No Excuses” campaign for five days each- at different times.  Maritime NZ has funded all councils involved to provide additional staff, time and resources to the campaign.

Manch says, "Up to two-thirds of recreational boaties who die might have been saved if they wore lifejackets.”  He also adds, “Boaties speeding in busy areas [are] dangerous and can injure children, swimmers, divers and people in small craft."

Each of the councils participating in the campaign will send a message out to the boaties in their community regarding the enforcement action will happen during the summertime.  However, the specific days will not be known.

The expectation for boaties is to be safe each time they go out on the water by following the rules.