Bay of Plenty boaties are being reminded preparation is the key to a successful and safe run at sea this 2017-18 summer season.
With temperatures rising, Waihi Beach Coastguard, with support from avocado export group Avoco, has a simple summer safety checklist boaties are encouraged to tick off before hitting the water.
Waihi Beach Coastguard spokesperson Jim Pooley says anyone taking advantage of warmer weather and longer daylight hours on the water needs to make safety a priority.
“There’s no time like the present to think about summer safety equipment to ensure everyone is safe on board a boat.
“A marine vessel requires maintenance throughout the year, but if you have neglected your boat over winter, it needs to be checked thoroughly before it’s launched.”
Five point summer safety checklist
• Check the expiry dates on flares.
• Check the expiry dates on Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB).
• Ensure lifejackets are in good condition and the stitching is secure.
• Ensure inflatable lifejackets are in good condition and cylinders should be checked.
• The boat has a functioning VHF radio.
Jim also reminds boaties that:
• EPIRBs also have a test function which most people aren’t aware of;
• Lifejackets should be aired out as more often than not they have been left up the front of the boat during winter – away from fresh air and sunlight, and;
• A test call to coastguard is done on the VHF radio to make sure it is working and you have reception.
It is also recommended that skippers get boat engines serviced at least once a year. They should also check batteries, fuel lines, oil, propellers, water pumps and other hardware frequently.
This season is the second in which Waihi Beach Coastguard has the benefit of its expanded fleet with the addition of ‘AVOCO Rescue’, a 5.8m Naiad-designed rigid hull inflatable boat powered by twin 115hp Yamaha outboards.
Sponsored by Avoco, New Zealand’s largest avocado export group, the vessel replaces ‘Search Two’ and is part of Avoco’s ongoing partnership, pledging an annual sponsorship contribution of $20,000 for three years.
This addition means Coastguard now has the capability to cover two completely different areas, with Gallagher Rescue overseeing the Bowentown Bar, one of the most notorious in New Zealand, and Avoco Rescueprotecting the channels and shallow areas of the Northern Tauranga Harbour.
Secure and profitable
Between them, the rescue boats performed 200 rescues along this stretch of Western Bay of Plenty coastline in 2016. More than half involved people from the greater part of the North Island.
While Avoco operated to provide a sustainable, secure and profitable future for its growers, director Alistair Young says the company was also committed to supporting the Bay of Plenty community – on and off the water.
“We have a responsibility to our growers and the wider community to deliver leadership and contribute to their lives in a positive and measurable way. We’re pleased that Avoco’s sponsorship keeps everyone safer at sea to enjoy more of what the Bay of Plenty has to offer.”