Don’t get caught out on the water this Easter Weekend
With autumn now here, Maritime NZ is reminding boaties to be prepared and make the adjustment to cooler weather.
Easter is often a busy time on the water around Aotearoa for recreational craft users; however, with the days now shorter and cooler than what many experienced over the back end of summer, Maritime NZ wants those heading out to think about the risks.
"There are risks all year round, but, we do know the autumnal switch means you need plan your journeys more carefully due to the shorter days, cooler temperatures and potential weather changes," Maritime NZ’s Principal Advisor Recreational Craft Matt Wood says.
Maritime NZ has seen many preventable incidents over the last couple of months, including some resulting in serious injuries.
"Just because you are on holiday mode during a long weekend, doesn’t mean you can just head out, and hope for the best," Matt Wood says.
"Please ensure you wear a properly fitted lifejacket, have waterproof ways to call for help, check the marine weather forecast before to understand the conditions ahead for your journey.
"It doesn’t matter whether you are going out on a kayak or a large recreational boat; these simple steps will make your voyage safer," he says.
Maritime NZ also recommends people think about the risks around locations. We know plenty of people will be travelling for the long weekend, and potentially ending up in areas they are unfamiliar with.
"Whether on a lake, a river, or off the coast, each waterway has its own unique risks. Before you leave the land, do a quick internet search to check the weather conditions (marinemate.co.nz or metservice.co.nz), as well as relevant local information.
"Overconfidence can be one of the biggest risks on the water," Matt Wood says.
However, Maritime NZ research shows the majority of people heading out onto the water, do carry lifejackets, understand the need for two forms of waterproof communication to call for help and are getting better at checking the forecast for the day ahead.
Maritime NZ is really impressed to see an increase in the number of people taking safety seriously.
"We just hope everyone on the water this weekend has a great time with their friends and family and gets home safely at the end of the day," Matt Wood says.
For more information head to saferboating.org.nz