The Harbourmaster’s patrol vessels are back on the water this summer to promote safe boating and compliance with navigation bylaws.
There are two main components - enforcement and education. This summer the Harbourmaster is working with Maritime New Zealand and eight councils on the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, run for five days between 1 December and 31 March. During the campaign Harbourmaster and Maritime NZ patrols will be on the water working together.
In Marlborough, the focus is on safe speed for recreational and commercial vessels, particularly in high risk areas. These include marinas, mooring areas, swimming areas, popular bays, beaches, and congested areas. These areas are marked by yellow five knot buoys, so there’s no excuse for not slowing down to a courteous, safe speed. If you do get caught exceeding five knots you can expect a fine.
The patrols aren’t there just to pass out fines though. Like last year, there will be fuel vouchers to give away to every boat who takes part in our safe boating survey. The survey is run nationwide to better understand the most pressing safety issues on the water, region by region. If you see our patrol boats on the water, wave us down for a chat and share your views about maritime safety.
Marlborough was the first region in New Zealand to offer free workshops for anyone wanting to learn more about safe boating. Two hundred people have already been through the programme and given great feedback. The workshops provide a few hours in the classroom with an experienced Coastguard skipper followed by boat trip in the afternoon. Attendees may be eligible for discounts on Coastguard courses such as VHF or DAY Skipper. For further information, contact the Harbourmaster on 03 520 7400.
Don’t forget to prep your gear, check the weather and know the rules. Happy boating!