BoPRC HARBOURMASTER REPORT 9 DECEMBER 2020
Based on statistics collected since Labour weekend we would like to remind vessel users of the following information.
The Regional Council Harbourmaster team is reminding jetski users that their craft must be registered and they must obey the same rules that apply to boaties. This summer a $200 fine will be handed out to those that are ignoring the rules – a $200 fine will also apply to those jetskis that aren’t registered. There will be a 14 day grace period from day of breach before fine will be issued. Jetskis must keep to 5 knots within 200ms of the shore, a structure or dive flag. The 5 knot rule also applies within 50m of another boat, raft or person in the water. The owner of the jetski is responsible to make sure that any person in charge of their jetski is competent and aware of the local regulations.
EARLY INDICATIONS ARE SHOWING THAT JETSKIS ARE MAKING UP THE MAJORITY OF BREACHES OF THE BYLAW, WITH SPEED, NO OBSERVERS AND DISREGARDING THE NEED TO WEAR AN APPROVED PFD.
In the Bay of Plenty, lifejackets must be worn at all times unless the skipper has assessed the risks and advised that it is safe to remove them. Crotch straps are essential for children’s lifejackets.
We are already seeing people on Kayaks and paddle boards ignoring the requirement. Two young boys were very lucky to have been found after their Kayak overturned on Lake Rotorua and were found clinging to their craft. They were very cold and more than 400m from shore. They were found 45mins after the report was made. This is not the only rescue story of a kayaker this season without a lifejacket.
Before you go on the water, these simple tests can help ensure the lifejacket you are wearing is seaworthy:
Pull the straps, hard. If any of them stretch or tear, do not use the lifejacket, dispose of it, and replace it.
Check for any existing tears, cuts or punctures in the straps and lifejacket. If there are any, do not use the lifejacket, dispose of it, and replace it.
Check your lifejacket floats.
Inflatable lifejackets should be regularly serviced at a testing station in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
All vessels over 4 metres are required to be named, including party barges and yachts. The name must be visible from 50m with no intent to make it hidden, for example black stickers on a black hull, Jetski numbers installed inside the foot wells.
The name must consist of a minimum of two letters or numbers or a combination of both. They must be a minimum of 90mm in height and it does not incorporate the vessels make or model. There has been an excellent acknowledgement of this bylaw with less and less vessels failing to comply.
We are also promoting if a person has breached a Bylaw they have the opportunity to complete a day skippers course with the coast guard. With evidence of completion of the course the fine would be waived as we would prefer there is an opportunity to upskill the skipper.
The Lakes are actively being patrolled over the summer season, so expect to see us out and about. There are also volunteer wardens scattered around the lakes so we expect to be out educating over the busy times.
Finally as a general reminder any boat or navigation related incidents and or complaints please remember to call 0800 556 687 to report to the on call duty person.