Taupō Coastguard Training Officer Mike Hughes prepares for more training sessions ahead of the busy summer period. Photo/Dan Hutchinson
Taupō boatie safety training resumes after a two-year absence due to Covid-19.
Several courses are offered by Coastguard Lake Taupō and Coastguard Boating Education.
Tutor Bill Irvine says with summer upon us, safety on the water for young and old is best ensured by boaters with the proper knowledge to protect themselves and their loved ones, and how to get help .
Classes usually take place on weekends, last around 15 hours and are graded.
The courses include:
The Day Skippers course, which aims to help first-timers understand the ‘rules of the road’, buoyage system, emergency procedures, map reading and basic boat handling and terminology.
“It’s a useful refresher for experienced hands that may need a catch-up.”
The marine VHF certificate is offered to those who use or intend to use a VHF (very high frequency) marine radio.
Bill says a certificate of competency is required by law for all VHF users, as protocols ensure that messages are clear and concise, especially in emergencies, and that VHF channels are available to everyone on the ‘water. This is a one day course and is graded.
The Boatmaster’s Certificate is a more advanced course. It expands on the Day Skipper content and includes a deeper understanding of the responsibilities of a pleasure craft skipper.
“It covers simple navigation principles with real life examples, a higher level of recognition of navigation lights and vessel steam, activity and anchorage lights.
“Emergency procedures and markup are also covered. The course is delivered over a 30-hour period and includes written and oral assessments.”
For more information, contact Coastguard Boating Education at www.boatingeducation.org.nz online, or Bill Irvine on 378 0880 or 0275705452.
Taupo Coast Guard
The Lake Taupō Coast Guard is locally funded – primarily by membership dues. It is an incorporated company and has its own rules, but is a unit and part of the national organization The Royal Coastguard of New Zealand.
Membership can be obtained through the Coastguard New Zealand online service. Membership benefits are available. However, to support the local unit, remember to check the Taupō box on the application form.
Coastguard Lake Taupō covers the waterways of the greater Taupō district, providing a certain comfort to users of these waterways that are close at hand when needed. This is a community service provided by local volunteers.
The Coastguard receives 30% of its funding from central government. The remaining $18 million is raised each year through the support of members, donors, funders and corporate partners.
Last year, Coastguard volunteers spent 291,402 hours keeping New Zealanders safe on the water.