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Keeping everyone safe on the water, always.

Monday 19 December, 2022

Gisborne District Council’s Harbourmaster Peter Buell is keen to make sure everyone stays safe on the water this summer.

He’s passionate about boating safety and brings the knowledge gained over four decades in the maritime industry, as well as being a harbourmaster at two other New Zealand councils.

“As a nation, we have a pretty sad record with water deaths and boating fatalities and that’s something I really want to work hard to improve upon.

“If we can get people to understand more around water safety, we can keep improving.”

From today until Monday 6 February 2023, two Water Safety Ambassadors will join Mr Buell to promote marine safety in and around Gisborne.

It’s part of the Council’s summer campaign - Tairāwhiti Haumaru Moana (Safety at Sea).

They’ll have a gazebo set up at the Inner Harbour boat ramp this week to give away safety merchandise and check life jackets are fit for purpose.

Mr Buell says every year it’s surprising to see life jackets where inflatable canisters are not there, not attached or have already been used. And some people using the old kapok lifejackets that won’t keep you afloat.

“We can help with that.

“You need to have a life jacket on your boat – it’s a legal requirement and there is a fine.

“However, our intent isn’t to ruin anyone’s day. We want to say, ‘enjoy your day – here’s a life jacket to use today and drop it off when you get back’.”

Mr Buell says he’s happy to have conversations about the boating rules with anyone who wants to improve their knowledge, or just gain knowledge.

In the New Year the water safety team will head up the coast to deliver safety messages directly to boaties. It’s the first time this has happened.

Council’s campaign supports Maritime New Zealand’s national Safer Boating campaign.

Look out for Facebook posts, press adverts and digital billboard at the boat ramp facing towards Gisborne and listen out for our radio ads too.

Mr Buell says the summer campaign is something we to be aware of every time you, your whanau, your friends go out on the water.

“We want to help people start thinking about our key messages so that it become the norm and everyday practice to do every time they go out on a boat.”

Safer Boating 2022

Tairāwhiti Haumaru Moana (Safety at Sea): Here’s the crew who’ll help keep you stay safe on Turanganui-a-Kiwa this summer, and always. A bright orange gazebo will be set up by the Inner Harbour boat ramp this week where Harbourmaster Peter Buell and his team will do lifejacket checks, with spare ones on hand just in case. From left are Water Safety Ambassadors Daniel Beattie and Kate Barwick, Harbourmaster Peter Buell alongside Māori Wardens Kyros Cook, Ripeka Cook and Lance Cook. Launching their boat on the water after their safety checks were done, and excited for a day of fishing, are Chase Willson, David McLean and Jess McLean.

Key things to remember for every boat trip are:

  • Be a responsible skipper, Me kāpene takohanga koe
  • Get YOU and YOUR crew home, Kia ū pai KOE me ĀU kaumoana ki te kāinga

Prep…Check… Know…

* Prep your boat

* Check your gear

* Know the rules

Whakaritea…Hihiratia… Me Mōhio

* Whakaritea tō waka

* Hiriratia ōu taputapu

* Me mōhio I ngā ture

Know the five ways to be safe on the water

* Lifejackets on

* Two waterproof ways to call for help

* Check the marine forecast

* No alcohol

* Be a good skipper

Kia Mōhio i ngā Tohu e Rima kia Haumaru koe ki te Wai

* Whakamaua tō koti whakaora

* Kia rua ngā taputapu ārai wai hei karanga āwhina

* Hihiratia ngā tohu huarere moana

* Kaua e inu waipiro

* Me kāpene pai koe

Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to get back

Inā haere koe ki whea, ā, āwhea koe ka hoki mai, pānui ki tētahi atu

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