INDEPENDENT NEWS

Coastguard volunteers ready as boating season gets underway

Published: Fri 1 Nov 2019 04:32 PM
With better-than-expected weather over the long Labour Weekend, boaties were out in force with Coastguard volunteers taking to the water and to the air to help keep them safe.
Coastguard volunteers attended 61 on-water incidents over the three days (Sat 26-Mon 28), bringing 181 people back to safety.
With good weather meaning the boating season is now well underway, Coastguard is reminding boaties to make sure their boats are ship-shape and ready to hit the water, and to ensure they keep in contact over this weekend.
With over two-thirds of the 61 incidents caused by mechanical, fuel-related or electrical issues, Coastguard urges boaties to ensure they:
1.Get their motor serviced – engines that have sat idle over winter are more likely to suffer mechanical issues if not looked at or serviced first.
2.Have enough fuel – a good rule of thumb is to use 1/3 of your fuel to get there, 1/3 to get back, and to keep 1/3 in reserve.
3.Make sure their safety gear is in good condition, including making sure lifejackets still fit and are in good condition, and that they take at least two forms of waterproof communication.
4.Keep in contact with Coastguard. Boaties made 2,351 trip reports into the Coastguard Operations Centre over Labour Weekend – almost the same number of calls made to Coastguard in the entire month of July 2019.
It’s also the last days of the Coastguard Annual Appeal. Last year, Coastguard volunteers brought over 6000 people home safely. But Coastguard volunteers don’t just save lives – we save families. While not all Kiwis are boaties, we all know someone who is and when a rescue happens it causes a ripple effect throughout families and communities.
It costs $20 million a year to run Coastguard, with the organisation having to raise $18 million of this. Coastguard is asking Kiwi’s to support them during this time so that they can have the skills and equipment to continue to save lives at sea. More information >> www.coastguard.nz

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