Coast Guard calls for safety on the water this Labor Weekend


Coast Guard is calling on all boaters to do their part for boating safety and take care of their whānau following a number of tragedies at Manukau harbor in recent weeks and the weekend of work on the doorstep.

On Saturday, three lives were lost in the port of Manukau, one of the worst incidents the body of water has seen in recent years. “Coastguard‘s deepest condolences go to the family and friends of those involved,” said Coastguard Chief Operating Officer Rob McCaw.

With Work Weekend fast approaching and hopes that thousands of boaters will sail across the country to take advantage of the warm spring weather, the Coast Guard is concerned that too few boaters are taking the plunge. security seriously enough. In particular take and wear life jackets for everyone on the ship and record a voyage report or a helm crossing especially when planning a harbor helm crossing.

“Coastguard wants all boaters to have a great summer on the water and come home in one piece. Conditions can change quickly in the marine environment, especially the more dangerous ones like harbors and river bars. It is essential that boaters take responsibility for the safety of everyone on board and register a bar crossing report with the Coast Guard so that we know where you are and can react immediately in an emergency, ”said Mr. McCaw.

“Over the past few weeks we’ve seen even the most experienced boaters get into trouble – no one is above basic boating safety principles. This means making sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket. rescue fit anytime – they never ruined a day on the water, by having two forms of waterproof communication, keeping an eye on the local marine weather before setting out and recording your trip with Coastguard Radio or easily through the Coastguard app. “

Before leaving this long weekend, download the Coastguard free app here.

Stay safe on the port of Manukau

Boaters can record a bar crossing report by calling * 500 on your mobile or contacting the Coastguard radio from your VHF radio and providing the following information:

  • The name and / or VHF code of your boat.
  • Which bar you are crossing (including whether you enter or exit over the bar).
  • Your current location.
  • Destination, route and estimated time of arrival (ETA).
  • Number of people on board (POB).

The team at the end of Coastguard Radio will then put you on SAR (Search and Rescue) standby for between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the bar you’re crossing. You must then close your bar crossing report when you are safe, otherwise in the event that you do not contact us within the allotted time and we are not able to return you a search will be launched for you.

This is a security service that we know saves lives. Over the past year, the Coast Guard has monitored the safe passage of 21,000 boats through New Zealand harbor bars (including 7,000 at the Manukau bar) using its transit service bars. In addition, each year the organization conducts bar crossing seminars and local familiarization trips through the bars to improve boaters’ skills, confidence and understanding of the dangers associated with bars.

While Auckland was able to resume almost unlimited boating activity, under new Stage 1 rules the Coast Guard must still operate and adhere to restrictions in Level 3 conditions. This means Guard units- coasts of the Auckland region still operate primarily on a reactive basis, although some recent clearances have allowed us to resume the required training activities on the water.

“Our three units based in the port of Manukau have an exceptional record of responding and rescuing boats in difficulty. Many lives have been saved by our volunteers on the Manukau, but unfortunately it is simply not possible for our fully volunteer crews to be ‘on site’ at all times for such a large body of water and we are relying on it. on boaters to record a bar crossing report for us to monitor their safety as they cross.

“Our Coast Guard volunteers train and operate regularly on the Manukau and near the bar so that they can respond to an incident under all conditions,” said Mr. McCaw.

Safety tips for crossing the Manukau Bar

  • Always check the swell, tide and wind conditions – every crossing of the Manukau Bar is different due to these factors.
  • Always try to cross the bar during daylight hours.
  • Make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket and are awake.
  • It is best to cross at high tide (but always be aware of the weather and swell).
  • Make sure you are carrying two forms of communication that work even when wet.
  • When in doubt, don’t go out!

More information on crossing a bar safely is available here on Coastguard’s “Boaties Best Mate” website.

About the Coast Guard

Coastguard is a charitable organization powered by more than 2,000 volunteers in New Zealand communities.

The Coast Guard receives 30% of our funding from central government. The remaining $ 18 million is raised annually through the support of members, donors, funders and corporate partners.

Last year, our volunteers dedicated 291,402 hours to keeping New Zealanders safe on the water.

Our volunteer crew on rescue ships, search planes and off the radio have been dedicated to saving lives for over 150 years.

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