Light-hearted Boating Safety Video Packs A Serious Message For Kiwis

Dec 05, 2017
329 Views

Move over Air New Zealand, the Big Angry Fish Boys Milan and Nathan have made their own ‘BIG’ safety video in time for the busy summer boating season.

The light-hearted video follows the familiar inflight safety format, but has a serious message for boaties to play it safe on the water.

The tongue-in-cheek video sees the boys up a creek, checking they’re ready to hit the ocean. Lifejackets zipped up, a VHF in the forward compartment to call for help – the boys cover the key safety tips boaties need to know.

“It’ll take you less than two minutes to get clued-up before you hit the water this summer,” says Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch. “And if you know it all already, watch it anyway – it’s a good refresher.”

The two-minute video has been released as good boating weather arrives around New Zealand. “We know that if the sun’s shining, Kiwis will be out on the water – we’re a nation of boaties,” Keith says.

“We’re asking people to take two waterproof ways to call for help. A VHF radio is a great first choice. You might also want to consider a distress beacon.”

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, according to Maritime NZ’s 2017 survey of boaties.

So buckle up your life jacket, grab a VHF radio and get ready for fun on the water this summer!

Maritime NZ and nine councils will be starting a “No excuses” campaign for recreational boaties not carrying or wearing lifejackets and those who speed on the water.

Director of Maritime NZ Keith Manch said the councils will take action against boaties who break lifejacket and speed rules. This will include infringement notices of up to $300, depending on each council’s bylaws.

The Maritime Transport Act and council bylaws require carrying and wearing lifejackets. The five knot rule is in place within 200 metres of shore and divers, and within 50 metres of swimmers and other boats.

“We are focusing on no lifejackets and unsafe speed because they are two of the biggest risks of death and injury,” Mr Manch said.

The “No excuses” campaign will be run for five days by each of the councils at different times between 1 December 2017 and 31 March 2018.

Maritime NZ has funded the councils to provide additional staff, time and resources to the campaign, on top of the safer boating work councils already do. During the campaign Harbourmasters’ staff and Maritime NZ’s Maritime Officers will be on the water working together.

“Up to two-thirds of recreational boaties who died might have been saved if they wore lifejackets,” Mr Manch said.

“Boaties speeding in busy areas is dangerous and can injure children, swimmers, divers and people in small craft.”

Each council will be letting boaties know in their communities that enforcement action will happen sometime during summer. The specific days will not be publicised.

“Our expectation is that safe boaties follow the rules each and every time they go on the water,” Mr Manch said.

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