Plan ahead when going out on the water this Easter/ANZAC
With an extended holiday period just around the corner, Maritime New Zealand is urging those heading out on the water to do so safely.
Many people will be taking an extended period of leave over the next two weeks, combining both Easter and ANZAC public holidays.
"For some this period will be the first time they have taken their boats out since summer, and the risks are very different," Senior Adviser Recreational Boating and Common Compliance, Matt Wood says.
"The days are shorter, temperatures cooler and the weather can be more unpredictable.
"With the shorter days, you should plan your trip accordingly. Daylight is always the safest time to be on the water, and at this time of year there are fewer hours than the height of summer.
Lower temperatures also increase the hypothermia risk, so having the correct safety equipment, including warm clothing is important.
"Poor visibility adds to the risks out on the water after dark," he says.
In addition, the arrival of ex-tropical cyclone Fili is bringing heavy rain, wind and big seas to parts of the country.
"If in doubt don’t go out, there is nothing wrong with cancelling due to potentially risky conditions," says Matt.
Matt Wood says knowing the following five rules will keep people safe on the water.
"Wear a life jacket at all times, leave the beers behind while on the water, take two waterproof ways to call for help, be a responsible skipper and check the marine forecast."
Information on the ways of the water is available at www.saferboating.org.nz.