Safe Boating - Coastguard New Zealand

Safe Boating - Coastguard New Zealand

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENTNavigation AidsIn all but the smallest of boats you will need achart. If you go more than a mile or two fromshore you will need a compass. A GPS and adepth sounder are very useful. Exactly whatyou carry will depend on the size and type ofboat and how far from land you go. Talk toCoastguard or Maritime NZ for advice.Communication Equipment and cellphones. On any trip you need to carrytwo means of communication and threemeans if you are over 2 miles from shore.Don’t drown because you cannot tell someoneyou need help. The number of lives lost couldbe reduced by 60% if a waterproof meansof communicating distress was carried onall boats under 6m.4Bailing SystemEven if you carry an electric bilge pump, alwayscarry a bucket or bailer. It can also be used toput out fires and has many other uses.AnchorTo determine the right size for your boat, theanchor should weigh not less than 1.5 kg permetre of boat length, with chain at least equal thelength of the boat. A non-floating rope well securedto the boat should be as long as practicable.

First Aid KitShould contain enough supplies to coverminor accidents or injury. Remember to carry aremedy for sea sickness as well as sun block.Alternative PowerSpare outboard, oars or paddles to help youmanoeuvre the boat in the event of a powerfailure or if the wind dies away while sailing.FireExtinguishersIf you have an engineor cooker on boardalways carry at leastone fire extinguisherthat is suitable foryour type of boating.Know how to useit and ensure it isserviced regularly.RopeAlways carry an extra length (or two) of rope, younever know when you might need to use it.Boat HookAs well as being used to pick up lines, buoysand objects in the water, your boat hook can beused for checking the depth of water, pushingoff or help in recovering a person overboard.Throwing LineA floating line at least 12m in length with afloating weight at one end.KnifeHas many uses – keep it sharp.Life JacketsandBuoyancy AidsYou must alwayscarry one of thecorrect size foreach person onboard. Wearing it ismandatory at all timesof increased risk.Radar ReflectorAssists other vessels to see small boats at night.TorchAlways carry a torch with spare batteries and bulb.Protective ClothingCarry adequate warm, protective clothing.5

BUOYANCY AIDSLife jackets should always be worn inboats less than 6m.Over 50% of all those who drown couldhave avoided death simply by wearinga life jacket.You must carry a correctly sized, serviceablelife jacket or buoyancy aid, which meetsNZ Standard 5823:2005 or another standardaccepted by Maritime NZ, for each person onboard. If not being worn they must be stowedso that they are at hand and immediatelyavailable. This rule applies to all boats includingtenders to larger craft.As the skipper, it is your legal responsibility toensure that life jackets are worn in situationssuch as when crossing a bar, in rough waterand during an emergency. We recommendthat you wear a life jacket at all times whenboating unless you are inside an enclosedplace such as a cabin. Most accidents occursuddenly with no warning. There may be notime to grab a life jacket unless it is close athand. The only time they need not be worn ina boat less than 6 metres is when the risk isexceptionally lowIt is important to have the right type of lifejacket. Consider the type of boating you do, thedistance from shore you intend to go and thekind of conditions you are likely to encounter.Life jackets provide more than flotation. Theyallow a person in the water to keep still therebyconserving energy that will help to avoid theonset of hypothermia. They also provideprotection from injury in collisions or whenrunning aground.Talk to your supplier or contact Water SafetyNew Zealand, Maritime NZ or CoastguardBoating Education for some expert advice.6

Buoyancy VestsDesigned for ease ofmovement if you areinvolved in activities likekayaking, sailing andwater skiing. While theymeet the legal standard,they will not turn anunconscious personto a face-up floatingposition in the water.InshoreLife JacketsDesigned to keep youafloat until help arrives.In rough water thesejackets may ride upand a crotch strap isrecommended. A crotchstrap is essential toprevent them slippingout, especially inchildrens’ life jackets.InflatableLife JacketsAvailable in pull-toinflatestyle or wateractivated. Suitable forall water recreationalactivities and are verycomfortable to wear.They provide the sameamount of buoyancyas offshore jackets.A crotch strap isessential to prevent them slipping out, especiallyin childrens’ life jackets. The gas cylinder ininflatable life jackets needs to be inspectedregularly for corrosion and fit.OffshoreLife JacketsWith increasedbuoyancy, these willkeep you in a safefloating position inrough, open water.Required for offshoreand commercialvessels. They are largeand not suited to everyday use.ONLY INFLATABLE AND OFFSHORE JACKETS ARE DESIGNED TO TURN ANUNCONSCIOUS WEARER FACE UP IN THE WATER.Rescue BuoysDesigned to help youstay afloat in the water,these include thingslike life buoys, life beltsand buoyant cushions.They should be brightlycoloured and fitted witha light, whistle or flagfor marking position inthe water.WetsuitsThese provide warmth and a level of buoyancy.They are not an approved alternative to lifejackets, except for boardsailers and on diveboats within 5 miles of shore.LOOK AFTER YOUR MATES,LOOK AFTER YOURSELF,WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET!7

VOYAGE PREPARATIONMARINE WEATHER8Many fatal boating accidents occur in badweather. If in doubt, don’t go out.Always check the weather before you go outboating. Weather conditions can make thedifference between an enjoyable day out anda dangerous, perhaps tragic trip. Rememberthat the weather can change suddenly andwithout warning. At the first sight of worseningweather head for shelter. Use the 5-dayoutlook to plan ahead.Marine forecasts are almost always accuratewhen predicting major weather events, suchas gales. They can be less accurate whenpredicting local changes of conditions,so you should always be prepared forthe unexpected.When the wind starts to blow, the waterbecomes very rough, very quickly, especiallyon lakes and rivers. Forecasts are only thebest prediction at any given time.Make sure you always use a marine weatherforecast. Land and general forecasts do nottake in to account wind speed over water,which is double that over the land, or the sizeof waves. If you are planning ahead or intendto be away for a day or two, obtain a longrange weather forecast.Coastal and local marine weather forecastsconsist of the following parts:WARNINGSThese are issued for gales or storms anywhereon the New Zealand coast. A wind warning maybe included in local area forecasts if wind gustsare expected to reach 33 knots (about 60 km/hr).SITUATIONA description of the position and movementsof highs, lows and frontal systems expected toaffect the New Zealand coast within the next36 hours. It also names those areas affectedby warnings.AREASMost boating areas are covered by theRecreational Marine Forecast. Details of the FORECAST DETAILSA description, covering the next 24 hours ofexpected average conditions over open water.wind – direction, such as northwest, is thedirection the wind is expected to come from.Speed is given in knots, and one knot isapproximately 2 kilometres an hour. This is anaverage speed so always expect that gusts maybe 50% higher. Also allow for funnelling betweenheadlands causing the wind speed to double.sea – a description of the waves formed by thelocal wind.swell – caused by longer waves that comefrom the ocean. Swells increase in height whenthey reach shallow water.visibility – given when visibility is expected tobe less than six miles (10 kilometres).outlook – all marine forecasts are for up to 48hours with the outlook for a further 3 days.WIND AND TIDEWhen the wind is opposing the tide, expecta much rougher sea.When the wind is with the tide, expect acalmer sea.

SOURCES OF MARINE WEATHERFORECASTSThe two most convenient sources of 5-day – Maritime NZ Maritime Radio providesforecasts which are announced on Channel 16 at0533, 0733, 1033, 1333, 1733 and 2133 hours.MetPhone – dial 0900 999 + map area number.Other sources of marine forecasts include: be published many hours earlier makingthem out of date; or 23 have a continuous broadcast ofweather and safety information; fisherman’s radio.MetPhoneCoastaldial 0900 999 + map area numberBrett 60Colville 61Plenty 62Portland 63Castlepoint 64Cook 65Abel 66Conway 67Rangitata 68Chalmers 69Foveaux 70Puysegur 71Milford 72Grey 73Stephens 74Raglan 75Kaipara 76Chatham Islands 78Special Recreational Marine Forecasts:Bay of Islands: 0900 999 98Auckland Marine: 0900 999 99Lake Rotorua: 0900 999 18Lake Taupo: 0900 999 13Kapiti Coast: 0900 999 17Wellington inshore marine: 0900 999 22Christchurch inshore marine: 0900 999 44For further information or assistance,please call the MetPhone helpline toll free on:0800 WEATHER (932 843).Or write to MetService, PO Box 722,Wellington. Or visit their

KEEP IN TOUCHIf you can’t contact us no one can rescueyou. The ability to communicate from yourboat is vital!Always carry at least TWO reliable formsof communication.MARINE VHF RADIO one of the cheapest and most reliable forms ofcommunication currently available to boaties. the area will often hear a distress message andbe the first on the scene. Channel 16, the distress channel, while at sea toprovide the best possible safety network for all. radio or battery is swamped, it stops workinginstantly – so a reliable alternative means ofcommunication is essential.VISUAL COMMUNICATIONFlares are very effective, widely recognized andshould be carried by all boats.SHARE YOUR PLANS:TRIP REPORTS Maritime NZ radio or your local Coastguard,letting them know where you are going, howmany people on board and when you expectto return. Don’t forget to cancel your trip reportwhen you return safely.A good back up is the 2 Minute Form, fill outthe form and leave it with a reliable friend orrelative who can raise the alarm if you do notreturn as planned.2 Minute Forms are available free of chargefrom Water Safety New Zealand.CELL PHONESWhile not a suitable substitute for a hand-held plastic bag and in your pocket. Do not remove itfrom the bag, the plastic will not affect its use andprovides essential protection from moisture.10

OPERATING THE BOATLAUNCHING AND RETRIEVINGWhen you arrive at the boat ramp, park well outof the way of other boats as you prepare yourboat for launching and make final safety checks.Make up a checklist for your boat, and use it!Preparations include: aboard and working; you are responsible for their safety; the 5 knot rule.At the end of the day, retrieval is the reverseprocess. Remember to wash off all the salt fromyour boat and put protective spray or greaseon all vulnerable parts.OVERHEAD POWER LINESIt is extremely dangerous to pass under apower line when a vessel’s total height exceedsthat given for SAFE CLEARANCE as shown onthe marine chart of the area because electricalarcing may occur.When rigging yachts near launching rampsor at the beach, always check the area foroverhead wires before you put the mast up andremember to keep a careful watch for powerwires over lakes, rivers and estuaries. Seriousburns to those aboard occur if any contact ismade with power wires.11

STARTING OUTYou must understand the operation of yourboat before you head out on the water.Remember, it is an offence to operatea boat in a manner which causes anyunnecessary risk to a person or property.Always read the instruction manual and becomefamiliar with starting and running your boat.Some general points to remember: neutral before starting. Some models can bestarted in gear; (fuel bulb) is pumped up hard and there areno fuel leaks; throttle and choke are correctly set; ensure no-one is sitting where your elbowmay strike them; run smoothly without choke beforeapplying power; understand how to use the warm up lever,and ensure the engine is properly warmedbefore leaving the trailer or berth; designed to be attached to your wrist,use it; a correct size life jacket for each person,and they must be worn.12

STEERINGUnlike a car, when you steer a boat it is thestern (back) that swings across when you turnthe wheel or move the tiller.You also have to allow for some slip sidewaysmade by the whole boat when you are steering,particularly at low speeds.Pick a calm day to get comfortable manoeuvringyour boat. Practice starting and stopping, turning,driving and picking things up out of the water.Take your time to become competent andconfident, new skills take a while to master.Make sure your family and regular crew developtheir skills too, in case you need them.At all times make sure all your passengersare sitting comfortably and holding on. Thosestanding up can be thrown off balance easilyand it is important to operate the boat with theoptimum trim.Stern SwingsSide Slip13

BOAT HANDLING – POWER CRAFTYou will almost certainly encounter a host ofdifferent water conditions in your boat, eachwith its own peculiarities.All these conditions have a varying effect onthe safe speed you can maintain and affectthe way you trim and steer.Head SeasThe waves are coming directly toward yourbow (front).Slicing through the waves is an option, providingthey are not huge. Adjust your speed to avoidwaves breaking over the bow. When crossingthe wake created by another boat, always tryto move with the bow at an acute angle to thewave formation.Following SeasThe waves are behind and following you. throttle constantly to keep the nose up. Thebuild-up of a wave at the stern will give theeffect of surfing, and can adversely affect thesteering capabilities. Try to keep at right anglesto it and ride the crest and back of the wave.Don’t get ahead of the wave or it may swampyou. If you do have to turn, do it while in thetrough between waves – and do it quickly.Beam SeasThe wave formation is coming from yourside or ‘beam’.Glide up each wave, moving from wave troughto wave trough gently at a 45 degree angle.Then slide down the other side, maintaining thesame angle. Slow down so that the boat doesnot become airborne.Should you get caught in a larger sea thananticipated, re-adjust the weight in the boatto stabilise it. Put heavy things on the floor,securely stowed, keeping the centre of gravityas low as possible. Get your crew to sit on thefloor of the boat.If in doubt about the conditions, slow down.Come off the plane and try to keep the bow(front) from dipping. If you have bilge pumpsfitted, make sure they work. Otherwise, havea securely fastened bailer handy just in case.If you take in a lot of water, try to keep the boatmoving. Once you stop it can be difficult to getgoing again.14

SAFETY ON THE WATER‘RULES OF THE ROAD’ ON THE WATER90% of accidents involve the Skippernot having enough boating knowledgeand experience.It is the Skipper’s responsibility to ensure safety,which includes knowing and understandingthe rules that apply before heading out on thewater. If you have an accident, ignoranceof the law is not accepted as an excuse.Heavy fines and prison are possible forbreaches of maritime rules.LookoutYou must keep a good lookout at all times. It isyour responsibility to stay alert for other boats,swimmers, dive boats, kayaks, hazards andobstacles. Listen as well as look.WHEN TWO BOATS MEETWhen two boats are approaching each other,one has the right of way and it is called thestand on boat.The other boat is called the give way boat. Thegive way boat must make an early and obviousmanoeuvre so there can be no confusion.The give way boat must pass astern of (behind)the stand on boat, while the stand on boatmaintains the same course and speed.Every boat that is overtaking must give way.You are overtaking if you are approaching anotherboat anywhere in a 135 degree sector at its stern.SpeedAll boats must travel at a safe speed, takinginto account the amount of boat traffic in thearea, weather conditions and when visibility isaffected by glare.Specifically, you must not exceed a speed of5 knots (a fast walking speed) if you are: flag; part of their body outside the rails or edge ofthe deck.Unless very closely supervised by an olderperson, who is in constant reach of thecontrols, you must be over the age of 15 tooperate any power boat which is capableof speed exceeding 10 knots. This includesdinghies and PWCs.In Channels and Harbours side of any channel; pilotage limit on the chart) you must keep outof the way of any ship over 500 tons (whichis about 50m in length). Stay at least 500mclear when ahead of the ship; unnecessary danger to other boats or people; that could cause a danger to other craft; of larger vessels that are restricted by thechannel; can be fined or prosecuted for breaking rulesor bylaws.15

When Power Meets Power starboard (right);When Things Go Wrong! giving way, the stand on boat must takeaction. The stand on boat should turn tostarboard (right). If it turned to port it couldturn in to the path of the give way boat. to starboard (right).When Power Meets Sail or a boatbeing rowed or paddled boat is overtaking); case power boat, which displays certainlights or day shapes; channel. They have to give way to powerboats restricted by the channel.When Sail Meets Sail sides, the boat with the wind on the port (left)side has to give way; side the windward (upwind) boat has to giveway; competing in the same race.Remember, you can be fined or prosecuted for breaking rules or bylaws.16

RADIOVHF RADIOReceive Forecasts and Messages // Call forhelp if needed offering group protection by allowing many boatsin the area to listen to calls. In distress situations most efficient means of communication. The will be useless if swamped by a wave or if the that is waterproof or kept in a sealable plasticbag can be used while still inside the bag.If you are planning to use a cellphone as youronly means of communication, consider the other boats listening. If you are in distressyou want everyone possible to know; phone numbers; to pass on the message.These advantages work for everyone if allvessels keep a constant listening watch onVHF Channel 16, the international distresschannel. However, a cell phone that is in a sealedplastic bag and kept in your pocket may be alifesaver if you capsize suddenly, provided you arein an area where there is coverage. Dial 111.If your boat capsizes or swamps, water will carrying a cellphone in a sealed plastic bag ifyour boat is under 6m.RULES FOR RADIO USE Listen before transmitting; calls as brief as possible; calling first, then identify yourself using yourcall sign and boat name; stowed to avoid accidental transmissionswhich will lock up the channel; then move to an agreed working channel; you are directed to another channel byMaritime NZ Maritime Radio or Coastguard; completed a call; required to have an operator’s qualificationand call sign.Nationwide, Maritime NZ Maritime Radiokeeps a 24 hour listening watch on Channel16. There are also many volunteer Coastaland Coastguard stations keeping a listeningwatch on Channel 16 and other channelslocally. Some operate a 24 hour service. operator’s qualification and need a call sign. Thisqualification involves about six hours tuition.Every transmission must have a uniqueidentification, so you need a call sign. ContactCoastguard Boating Education on 0800 40 80 90 and a call sign. Advise Coastguard BoatingEducation if you are buying or selling a boat 17

NAVIGATIONNavigation is knowing where you are in relationto the land at all times. Unless you know howto navigate and have the right navigationalequipment on board, one day you will get lost.The level of skill and navigational equipmentrequired will depend on the type of boat you have,the areas where you go boating and how far yougo from shore. The further from shore you go, themore knowledge and equipment you need.Take a Coastguard Boating Education courseto help you learn about navigation.Always keep an eye on the weather. It canchange very quickly with a sudden reductionin visibility. Finding that you can no longer see is the best source of weather information.Navigational aids:CompassNecessary if you aregoing any distancefrom shore, or inreduced visibility.Tide InformationYou can find high andlow water times in yournewspaper, in othermarine tables, boatingmagazines, on Teletextand in the New ZealandNautical Almanac.Depth FinderThis displays the depthof the water and shouldbe switched on at alltimes. Keep an eye onyour depth finder soyou know when youare getting close toshallow water.Global PositioningSystem – GPSGPS gives you anaccurate position, butto use it you will needto carry the correctchart and understandhow longitude andlatitude are marked.The GPS also displaysother useful information,so make sure you haveread the manual to fullyunderstand it.18

CHARTSChartA chart shows things such as water depth, rocks above and below the water, underwater cables,tidal flows, buoys, beacons, lighthouses and the coastline. Make sure you have the largest scalechart of any area where you go boating.19

LIGHTS FOR SMALL CRAFTAt night all boats are identified by the patternof lights they display. This pattern of lightsalso helps you to know which way a boatis heading.All boats must comply with the regulationsconcerning lighting. Check that the lightsfitted to your boat are showing throughthe correct arc.Lights must be switched on from sunset tosunrise and in rain and fog.Failure to display the correct lights mayresult in fines or prosecution.These are the lighting requirements for allvessels underway:Powerboats less than 12m inlengthMay combine their stern and masthead lightsto one all round white light.Powerboats over 12min lengthThis includes a sailing boat if it is operatingits engine. Display red and green sidelights, awhite sternlight and a white masthead light.Powerboats less than 7m inlength and not capable of speedsover 7 knotsNeed only display an all round white light.20

Sailing boatsMust show red and green sidelights and awhite sternlight. These three lights may becombined into a single tri-colour light mountedat the top of the mast on yachts less than20m in length.Dinghies and KayaksAll non-powered boats under 7m in length,such as a rowing dinghy, canoe, kayak orsailboat must show a white light or torch toindicate its presence.Sailing boats motoring ormotor-sailingConsidered to be powerboats and must displaysidelights, a sternlight and a masthead light.MASTHEAD LIGHTMasthead lights shine forward in a 225 degreearc and must be at least 1m abovethe sidelights.ANCHOR LIGHTEvery boat at anchor must show only a whitelight visible from all directions between sunsetand sunrise.RANGE OF LIGHTSOn boats up to 12m in length, white lights musthave a range of 2 miles and side lights a rangeof 1 mile.21

BUOYS AND BEACONSThese are the road signs on the water.The meaning of each navigational buoy, orbeacon, is found in its shape, symbol on thetop (topmark) and its colours.Take time to study the buoys to familiariseyourself with their meanings.CHANNEL MARKERSThese show well-established channels andindicate port (left) and starboard (right) sides ofthe channels. One of the following maybe used;Coming InUpon entering harbour the red port markshould be kept on the boat’s port (left) sideand the green mark on the boat’s starboard(right) side.Going OutWhen leaving harbour the red port mark shouldbe kept on the boat’s starboard (right) side andthe green mark on the boat’s port (left) side.Lateral Marks (Red or Green)Water Ski AccessBlack and orange bands.Port MarkA red can shape. At night, a red flashing lightmay be shown.Reserved AreasBlack and white bands.Starboard Mark22A green conical shape. At night, a greenflashing light may be shown.

CARDINAL MARKSNorth South East WestYellow and BlackEach indicates where there is deep waterclose to a danger and they show this relativeto the compass. i.e. deep water is to theNorth of a North Cardinal Mark, to the Eastof an East Cardinal Mark.Special Marks – YellowIndicates a special area and that you shouldbeware. Coloured yellow. If lit at night, it showsa flashing yellow light. The top mark is a singleyellow cross. Check your chart to identify whatis special in that area.Isolated Danger – Red and BlackIndicates an isolated danger, such as asubmerged rock and so tells you not to passtoo close. Coloured black with one or morehorizontal red bands. If lit at night, it shows agroup of two white flashes. The top mark hastwo black spheres.Underwater Cable MarksThese are indicated by a white triangle onthe foreshore. When in pairs, they indicatethe direction of the cable. Do not anchornear these cables. The skipper of a boat thatdamages a cable will be held responsible,with fines up to $100,000.For further information, refer to the MaritimeNZ book, New Zealand’s System of Buoysand Beacons.23

RIVER BARSThere are three types of bars along a typicalNew Zealand coastline: the dangerous bar,the very dangerous bar, and the excessivelydangerous bar.The secret to understanding the techniques forcrossing a bar lies in gaining local knowledge.This means understanding the state of thebar, being able to interpret the conditions,and assessing the ever-changing shape andlocation of the channel through the bar.Before you leave, talk to the locals, checkweather and tides, inspect the bar at low tide.Secure all moveable objects in the boatensuring weight, including your passengerload, is kept low down. Check that your engineand steering are performing correctly. Makesure you and all your passengers are wearinglife jackets. Remember, not wearing a lifejacket when crossing a bar is an offence.Before you cross the bar, warm up the motor,observe the state of the bar, secure all hatchesand approach with caution. Study the natureof the seas to find the best route to take.The best time to cross a bar is at high water.Avoid crossing when the tide is going out. Put in or Maritime Radio immediately before and aftercrossing the bar.Going out should be done slowly andcautiously, picking up the rhythm of the waves,seeing the opening and following it. Once youare on your way, don’t turn back. Keep thebow (front) of your boat directly into the waves.Throttle back at the top of the wave, then getready for the next one.Coming in involves preparing your boat and crewthe same as for going out. Keep the weight lowand aft (towards the rear) in the boat to helpavoid digging in the bow and broaching (slewinground sideways). It is much more difficult to readthe waves from out at sea than ashore.Wait until the conditions are suitable before youcross, or come ashore at a less dangerous placeif possible. Again, remember to call Coastguard Cross when the tide is coming in, keeping theboat on the back of a wave. Be ready to eitherslow down or accelerate as conditions dictate.Remember to report to Coastguard whenyou are safely across the bar.24

EMERGENCIESMOST SERIOUS EMERGENCIES OCCURUNEXPECTEDLY AND VERY QUICKLY.BEING PREPARED MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE.CAPSIZE85% of boating fatalities in boats under 6mare the result of swamping or capsize.Almost always, a capsize is totally unexpectedand happens in a few seconds. There is nopossibility of grabbing anything other than whatis immediately to hand. Countless persons havedied within the few hours following a capsizebefore help reached them. Men on a fishing tripare the most likely casualty.Being prepared means: anyone, no matter how experienced theyare, or how safe their boat is; In all boats, life jackets must be immediatelyaccessible – not stowed under seats; as flares or a locater beacon will be able tobe retrieved from a boat that is floating level,even if it is upside down. Many accidentshave shown that equipment cannot beretrieved if the boat floats bow up, even forexperienced swimmers or divers; in very quickly resulting in rapid loss ofstrength. There have been many deathswithin 30 minutes following a capsize inNew Zealand waters; you are in trouble once you are swimmingbeside a capsized boat. Unless sealed in after immersion, although some hand-held may provide the communication needed tosave lives but only if sealed in a plastic bag.They should be kept in a person’s pocketand there is no loss of signal strength if cell the bag; visual distress signal and can be used byday or night. They work well in spite ofimmersion. Orange smoke is a daytimesignal. Every boat should carry a powerfulwaterproof torch.Having equipment that is not able to be retrievedor will not work is pointless. If your boat floatsbow up, or sinks, ensuring safety equipment willbe available will almost certainly turn a capsizefrom a fatal accident to an inconvenience.25

26SINKINGIf your boat starts taking in water, the firstthing to do is ensure everyone on boardhas their life jacket on and it is properlyfastened.Try to locate the cause of the leak and reducethe flow of water by pushing something into thehole. Make a distress call and head towardsshallower water.Bail the water out as best you can.Should the boat submerge or turn over,stay with the boat, you have a much greaterchance of being found.HypothermiaWhen in the water hypothermia leads tounconsciousness and will cause a victim tosubmerge and drown. Wearing a life jacketwill prevent submersion, and in some casesprovide protection against hypothermia.Secure the crotch strap to stop the life jacketriding up.Wearing a life jacket allows a person toconserve energy. Although treading water orswimming will make you feel warmer, it is a falsesensation. Energy spent on moving rather thanmaintaining warmth will cool the body’s core.Heat loss is greater in water than in air of thesame temperature. If you are in the water withfloating objects e.g. upturned boat, then raise asmuch of your torso out of the water as possible.Get in to a ‘huddle’ position with all those fromthe boat to conserve body heat and for support.FIRE FIGHTINGRemove one of the following: fuel – turn off the gas or petrol supply, orremove combustible material; heat – by applying cold water; oxygen – smother the fire with CO 2 ,dry powder, or foam or cover with a fireblanket. When using an extinguisher,aim at the base of the fire while keeping low.Prevention of FiresNEVER smoke while refuelling! Petrol and LPG vapours are heavier thanair and will accumulate in the lowest areaswhere they may be ignited by a spark; inflammable products on them, such as oilyor turps-soaked rags; to prevent shortouts and sparks. Extinguishers extinguisher, each suited to aparticular type of fire. A dry powderextinguisher is a good generalpurpose type which will work wellon most fires. It needs to be shakenoccasionally to prevent the powdercompacting; engine space in places where they can bereached from the open deck or cockpit afterthe fire starts; extinguishers are stowed and how touse them; from salt spray and the elements. Have themserviced regularly; under no circumstances should waterbe used on fuel or electric fires.

PERSON OVERBOARDThe four basic things to remember when aperson goes overboard are:SHOUT everyone on board is aware of the emergency.THROW a life buoy, throwing line, cushion oranything else to hand which will help the personin the water to float, and mark the position.WATCH the person in the water carefully,have someone on the boat point continuouslyat the person. Record the position on GPS ifyou have one.STOP immediately to keep the distancebetween the person in the water and the boatto a minimum.Remember that when you turn, the stern(back) of the boat swings and therefore thepropeller swings when you alter course. Toavoid serious injury, turn the stern (back) of theboat away from the person in the water.Agree on, and practice, your personoverboard drill with all those on your boat, sothat everyone is aware of what to do in anemergency situation.Person overboard is a distress situation.Do not hesitate to call mayday radio if you are unable to rescue the person inthe water immediately.RECOVERY OF PERSONOVERBOARDEnsuring you are clear of the person in thewater, approach the person from downwind(into the wind). Stop the engine when you arenear the person, so you can throw a line orthey can swim to you.In small open boats and those with a lowfreeboard, boarding should be over the boat’sbow (front) or stern (back). If your boat doesn’thave a boarding ladder, use a rope to make aloop over the side for the person in the water toput their foot in to.REPORTING ACCIDENTSPleasure boats now figure in about half of theaccidents reported to Maritime NZ. On averagethere are 12 deaths in pleasure boats eachyear. Most could have been avoided.Understanding the reasons for boatingaccidents is an important function of MaritimeNZ. They need your help in reporting accidents,so lessons learned can be shared with theboating community.It is an offence if you do not report an accidentwithin 48 hours to Maritime NZ and theHarbourmaster, if the accident is inshore.27

DISTRESS SIGNALS IN LIFETHREATENING SITUATIONSThere are some important distress signalsyou need to know, if you find yourself in alife threatening situation on the water.Use one of the following;RADIO MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. Give the nameof your boat and your call sign, then give yourposition and details of your distress.In an emergency situation you do not have to radio. Make sure all your passengers knowhow to use the radio in case of emergency.Two types of locater beacon can be used onboats, EPIRBs (Emergency Position IndicatingRadio Beacon) and PLBs (Personal LocaterBeacon). EPIRBs are specifically designed formarine use.Only 406 mHz beacons are detectedby satellites.To carry out a live test of your 406 EPIRBor locater beacon, contact RCCNZ at least72 hours in advance.Phone RCCNZ (24 hours): 0508 472 269If you have activated your EPIRBinadvertently, phone RCCNZ immediately, There is no charge for an inadvertent EPIRBactivation if the report is made as soon asthe activation is discovered.EMERGENCY LOCATERBEACONSSwitch on your beacon and the satellite willrelay your distress signal and position tothe Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand(RCCNZ). Keep it switched on until help arrives.Regularly check the expiry date of the batteryin your beacon, and replace on expiry.LIGHTSSend an SOS ( ... – – – ... ) by any signalmethod such as light or sound.28

CELLPHONESCall 111 and ask for the Police. Give yourposition, and cellphone number so that youcan be called if further information is needed byrescue services.Keep your cellphone in your pocket in a sealedplastic bag or purpose-made waterproofcontainer so it will not be put out of action in acapsize or swamping. Use it in the plastic bag.Make sure the battery is always fully chargedand carry spare batteries. If you rely on yourcellphone for safety, conserve the battery.Do not use it for other calls.Red – Hand HeldEffective as a line of sight distress signal by visible from aircraft this flare burns for up to 60seconds.Red ParachuteCapable of attracting attention in daylight for upto 10 miles. Night time range is up to 40 miles.The rocket launches the flare up to 300m.The flare burns for 40-60 seconds as it slowlydescends under the parachute.Always hold a flare outside the boat whenfiring. Never fire into the wind – always downwind, preferably at a 15-20 degree angleoff vertical.In an emergency, fire one flare as soon asyou realise you are in distress. Keep otherflares until you need to attract the attentionof searchers.DISTRESS FLARESThese are vital items. Regularly check theexpiry date on your flares, and replace them.There are three common types available.Familiarise yourself with the firing instructionson each type of flare before you need them.You will not be able to read the instructions inthe dark.Misuse of any distress signal can resultin substantial penalties.Orange SmokeEffective as a line of sight distress signal fordaytime use only.29

PREVENTING INJURIES ON BOATSAll the advice outlined in this Safe Boating Guide is aimed at helping you prevent injuries or tosave a life. Below are a few important facts you should also know about injuries on boats.The people most likely to get injured on boats are male, aged between 15 and 49 years. Thetypes of injury sustained are more severe than you might first think – injuries to the face and jaw(teeth), broken bones, severe head injuries and burns.The most common cause of injuries on board a boat is people losing their balance and fallingover, or people colliding with one another or a hard object.WHAT CAN YOU DO?As a Responsible Skipper about safety; conditions are rough; can avoid collisions; when you stow gear; before or during a trip.As a passenger boat, one hand for yourself; Don’t let your mates become a statisticthis summer.For more information, check outwww.maritimenz.govt.nzTo make your vessel a safe one board and is in working condition; with flotation and provide protection fromchest injuries in collisions and groundings.30

BOATS AND YOUNG CHILDRENChildren and boats are a great combination, outin the fresh air, learning about the world aroundthem and having fun.As the Skipper, you are responsible for all thoseon your boat, but children need extra careaboard the boat and around water.Here are some important points to consider,before you cast off: jackets at all times; out of an adult’s size life jacket in the water.Life jackets fitted with crotch straps areessential for children; when appropriate; when boating; those on board, thinking about situations likeperson overboard, capsize, running aground,fire and collision; need to have another adult aboard who cancope if something happens to you; holding on when travelling; survival time in the water. With childrenon your boat, your alcohol consumptionwill effect their survival chances as well asyour own; water must know how to swim and befamiliar with survival techniques; power boat capable of 10 knots or moreis 15 years old; this includes PWCs anddinghies. If an adult remains within reachof controls those under 15 are allowed tooperate the boat.Remember that children look to adults forexamples of appropriate behaviour. Wearyour life jacket and they will wear theirs.Teach children the pleasures and the risksof boating and they will have taken the firststep on the way to becoming ResponsibleSkippers themselves.If you plan to take children boating, it is yourresponsibility to ensure that they have theappropriate survival skills. Make sure theylearn to swim and teach them boating skillsand survival techniques in the water.Remember, when children can take part theylearn quickly and act responsibly. Encouragethem to ‘have a go’ at tasks when appropriate.3131

OTHER ACTIVITIESWATER-SKIINGAND TOWINGThis includes riding sea biscuits,wakeboarding and towing anyone. three to ski. Oneto ski, one to drive the boat and the thirdperson, who must be at least 10 years old,to keep an eye on the skier so the skippercan concentrate on driving the boat safely; buoyancy aid; towards the side the skier is on, so that thepropeller swings away from the skier; ski access lane, where you can go right tothe beach at speed; right going in and outof an access lane; with orange and black bands; access lanes ahead of other users. If skiersare outside an access lane they must not gowithin 200m of shore or a boat with a diveflag. They must keep at least 50m from othercraft or swimmers; and sunrise; off skis or a skibiscuit will warn other boats inthe area to keep a lookout for them.DIVINGIt is a legal requirement that a divers flag isdisplayed. It must be able to be seen andreadily identified from 200m away. The minimumlegal flag size is 600mm high by at least 600mmlong. It must be clearly visible even when thereis no wind. A watch keeper left on the dive boatmust be instructed to wave the flag so that itcan be seen by any approaching vessel. A threedimensional rigid mounted flag is necessary ifno watch keeper stays on board.The diver’s flag means a diver is in the water,so keep well clear and move at a slow speed.Divers sometimes drift away from their supportboat, so expect them to be well away from theboat. Maintain at least 200m distance from theflag or keep your speed down to under 5 knots.A diver’s head is hard to see in the water orthey may be just below the surface.Remember to DiveSafe: 32

BOARD SAILINGSail boards and kite boards are classified inlaw as sail boats, and subject to all the normalsailing rules.For safety reasons, they must not be used atspeeds over 5 knots within 200m of the beachor 50m of other boats or swimmers.Unless wearing a wet suit, sail boarders andkite boarders are required to wear a life jacketor buoyancy vest.Additionally, you should consider wearingbooties to avoid slipping and a helmet and kneepads to avoid injury in strong winds.Many board sailors have been blown out to seaafter becoming exhausted, so avoid using sailboards or kite boards in offshore winds unlessyou are very proficient.ROWING DINGHIESAND SMALLSAIL BOATSNo formal ‘rules of the road’ apply when thesetwo different types of boats meet, so courtesyand good seamanship is expected.Good seamanship says:JET BOATSJet boats operate mainly on shallow rivers.In addition to the normal boating rules, in riversboats heading upstream must keep out of theway of boats going downstream. way should do so. This will often be thefaster or more manoeuvrable boat; change is made so that the other boat isable to respond appropriately; boats; 33

KAYAKSBE SAFE – BE SEENThese fun boats are common on lakes, riversand around the coast. Used properly, theyare very safe, but their limitations need tobe understood. make sure you will be seen. A kayak can bealmost invisible to skippers of other craft.Wearing bright clothing, having brightlycoloured paddle blades with reflector strips,and displaying a very bright orange or redflag about a metre above the water on a rodwill greatly reduce the chance of being rundown accidentally; a kayak in rough water; and can be difficult or impossible to controlin strong winds, unless handled by anexpert paddler; have buoyancy fitted to make sure it stayslevel so it can be re-boarded; practice, especially in deep water; designed for kayaking; from your kayak following a capsize; rapidly across the water in a light breeze; display a white light. It can be a 360º (fixedwhite light or a torch, but a flashing light orstrobe is not acceptable (strobe lights areused to mark a man overboard). The whitelight should be bright enough to be seen2 miles (about 4km) away. Colours otherthan white are not allowed; Coastguard Boating Educationphone 0800 40 80 90.34

PERSONAL WATER CRAFTThese fun motor craft are very popular atbeaches and on our water ways during thesummer. They give us quick and easy access tothe water, with the thrills of high speed boating.With the thrills come the dangers. Followthe guidelines listed below and ensure yourexperiences with PWCs are safe and enjoyablefor yourself as well as others.Remember, PWCs are considered power boatsin law, and the relevant rules apply to their use.Keep your distance – collisions between PWCsat speed are very dangerous.Unless fitted with the required navigation lights(page 18) PWCs must not be used betweensunset and sunrise.Wear a life jacketIt is mandatory to wear a life jacket.Obey speed limitsKeep to 5 knots (9.25kph) or less within:200m of shore;200m of vessels flying a dive flag;50m of another person in the water;50m of another vessel, including other PWCs.Know the age limitAs a PWC is a power boat, you must be15 years or older to operate one.Noise annoysKeep away from residences or areas wherepeople will be annoyed by noise.Don’t drink and driveAlcohol and PWCs don’t mix.Know how to swimBe a survival swimmer.Turn safelyApply throttle to turn. When you throttle offcompletely, you lose steering control.Education is the keyGet more out of your PWC – take a CoastguardBoating Education Course.Phone 0800 40 80 90.Check local bylawsCheck with your regional council regardingbylaws, which may restrict areas for PWCsor reserve special places for their use. Somecouncils require PWCs to be registered.Watch out for swimmers!35

ENVIRONMENTThe water is our playground, sports arena,holiday spot and a great source of food. Marinepollution law requires that we respect andcare for the marine environment to ensure it issustained for our children and grandchildren.Here are a few simple guidelines: never, ever, dispose of plastic overboard.It is illegal! back to shore with you; small, may be thrown overboard as far out tosea as possible; in to the sea within 500m of the high watermark, within 500m of a marine farm, or inwater less than 5m deep; within 500m of a marine farm; size and limit of catches and must not fish inprohibited areas; are clearly marked on charts. There areheavy penalties for damaging a cable whileanchoring or fishing; damage another boat; refuelling your boat; report it immediately to the local authorityor council; for offences; damage; it is an offence.36


COASTGUARD BOATING EDUCATIONCoastguard Boating Education isNew Zealand’s leading provider of recreationalboating courses. There are courses for alllevels of knowledge and ability.Core courses are delivered throughout thecountry. Specialty and practical courses areavailable at selected venues. Course studyoptions include correspondence, tutorials,CD Rom or Home Study. Course durationstimes are indicated.For more information including a courseschedule contact Coastguard BoatingEducation:Phone: 09 489 1850Free phone: 0800 40 80 90Email: COURSESDay Skipper (15 hours)An introductory course for all members of thefamily or crew, including those new to boating.Applies to all vessels including yachts,launches, powerboats, jet skis, sea kayaks,and waka.Boatmaster (30 hours)A comprehensive course for boaties withsome existing knowledge and experience.Applies to a range of vessels including yachts,launches, and powerboats.Marine VHF Radio OperatorsQualification (6 hours) from Coastguard Boating Education, phone0800 40 80 90.SPECIALTY COURSESCoastal Skipper (55 hours)An advanced course covering coastalnavigation, weather, passage planning, andseamanship relevant to those wishing toundertake coastal voyages.Ocean Yachtmaster (72 hours)An advanced course covering ocean navigationand passage making, for skippers and crewintending to race offshore or cruise overseas.Radar (6 hours)A comprehensive course to help youunderstand and safely operate the radar seton your vessel.GPS Operator (6 hours)Covering all principles and limitations,including use of chart plotters and techniquesfor more complex navigation tasks.Race Medic (6 hours)An essential course covering basic lifesaving skills.Coastal Medic (16 hours)An intermediate course to manage trauma forup to 24 hours. (Recognised by Maritime NZfor commercial qualifications).Offshore Medic (16 hours)An advanced course to manage trauma andmedical emergencies offshore, where medicalassistance is not available.Outboard Engine Maintenance(6 hours)An essential course covering outboard careand trouble shooting.38

Inboard Engine Maintenance(15 hours)A comprehensive course covering dieselengine care, maintenance, and fault finding.Basic Sea Survival (4 hours)An essential classroom based course coveringsea survival techniques and equipment.Advanced Sea Survival (16 hours)A two day course required by crew competingin offshore races (Category 1). Recognised byYachting NZ and ISAF.Club Safety Boat Operator (8 hours)A practical on-water training course foroperators of yacht club safety boats.Sea Kayak (2 hours)A short course covering sea kayaks,equipment, communication, emergencies,planning, weather, rules, and navigation.Maritime Restricted RadioOperator (Formally RRTOC)A legal requirement for commercial operatorsand users of HF/SSB Radio.PRACTICAL COURSES(In association with the Royal YachtingAssociation)Introductory through to advanced practicalcourses specific to: Powerboating (runabouts, ribs, and otheroutboard driven craft) Sail Cruising (keelers and multihulls) Motor Cruising (Launches) PWC (Personal Water Craft)RYA/MCA Certificates of Competence(Sail or Power) and commercial endorsementsare available.SCHOOL PROGRAMMESSafe Boating ProgrammeA teaching and learning resource designedfor year 5 – 8 students, which links to theHealth and PE; Science; Technology; andEnglish curricula. The programme providespreparation for EOTC boating experiencessuch as kayaking, yachting and powerboating. Free to download from (school programmes).Day Skipper ExperienceA half day practical experience forIntermediate and Secondary school students,to discover the thrill of crewing a vessel andlearn essential boating safety.39

FURTHER INFORMATIONThis booklet has outlined some of theimportant areas you need to know aboutas a responsible skipper.For more comprehensive information: Safety in Small Craft and The Rules ofthe Road at Sea, published by CoastguardBoating Education; local knowledge and safety information; boating guides for your area; For information on courses or forVHF radio call signs and changes toVHF details contact:Coastguard Boating EducationP O Box 91 322, AucklandPh 09 489 1850 or 0800 40 80 90Fax 09 489 1506Email boating and general water safetyinformation contact:Water Safety New ZealandP O Box 10 126, WellingtonPh 04 801 9600Fax 04 801 9599Email boating safety information andreporting accidents:Maritime New ZealandP O Box 27 006, WellingtonPh 04 473 0111 or 0508 22 55 22Fax 04 494 1263Email recreational.boating@maritimenz.govt.nzWebsite www.maritimenz.govt.nzFree Safeboating DVD – the rules, adviceand local knowledge. Contactrecreational.boating@maritimenz.govt.nz40

OTHER INFORMATIONAccident Compensation CorporationWebsite Boating New ZealandP O Box 339, ChristchurchPh 03 942 3190Fax 03 942 4901Email Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK)P O Box 23, Runanga, West Coast 7841Email Industry AssociationP O Box 90 448, AucklandPh 09 360 0056 or 0800 600 242Fax 09 360 0019Email www.nzmarine.comNew Zealand Jet Sports Boating AssociationP O Box 80 154, Green Bay, AucklandPh/Fax 09 478 0908Email Recreational Canoeing Assn (NZRCA)P O Box 284, WellingtonPh 027 209 6101Email Zealand Trailer Boat Federation16E Sarawia Street, Newmarket, AucklandPh 09 523 3265Fax 09 914 0055Email Zealand Underwater AssociationP O Box 875 AucklandPh 09 623 3252Fax 09 623 3523Email Waka FederationP O Box 9570, WellingtonPh 04 801 7914Fax 04 801 9412Email New Zealand Coastguard FederationP O Box 91 322, AucklandPh 09 489 1510Fax 09 489 1506Email Kayak Operators Assn of NZ (SKOANZ)P O Box 195, PictonPh/Fax 03 573 6078Email New ZealandP O Box 91 209, AMSC, AucklandPh 09 361 1471Fax 09 360 2246Email

BOATINGCHECKLIST12345Check the marine forecastand tides before leaving.Take two means of reliablecommunication that workeven when wet.Carry a correctly sizedlife jacket for each person.Avoid alcohol.Be a responsible skipper –complete a CoastguardBoating Education course.

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