Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Waikato council ‘concerned’ over dangerous boatie behaviour

A weekend of boaties behaving dangerously at Lake Karāpriro has Waikato Regional Council’s maritime officers concerned for the safety of the lake’s recreational users.

Regional Harbourmaster, Chris Bredenbeck says maritime patrol vessel staff received multiple complaints from skippers about the “crazy” behaviour of other boaties around them last weekend.

“We had a harbourmaster boat out all day Saturday and two harbourmaster jetskis all day Sunday and, altogether, they issued 23 breaches of the rules over the weekend,” says Mr Bredenbeck.

“Skippers were seen to be speeding near other boats, towing without observers and not wearing lifejackets when required.”

Mr Bredenbeck said after a period of bad weather there were many people out on the lake enjoying the fine weather window.

“When it’s congested with boats like that out on the lake it is really important that everyone follows the safety requirements.

Lake Karāpriro.

“We’ve had zero boating related deaths in the Waikato this year and that’s how we want to keep it.

“It’s not just about the safety of the skipper and their boats, but also the safety of others on the water around them. 

“When we’re out we speak to the skippers and there are a lot that are new to boating skippers and not aware of the rules. The responsibility is for people operating boats to be aware of the rules before they get out on the water.

“If you don’t wear a life jacket, observe the 5 knot rule or have an observer as or when required then you could face a $200 fine.”

For more information on rules and safety, visit the Maritime Services webpage Rules and safety information | Waikato Regional Council.

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