No excuses on-water boating safety campaign is back again for summer 2020/21

Maritime NZ’s No Excuses on-water compliance campaign launches tomorrow for summer 20/21 aiming to drive a safer boating culture.

No Excuses is a massive team effort that sees harbourmasters from across New Zealand joining forces with Maritime NZ staff to check boaties’ compliance with the boating safety code and local bylaws including lifejacket wearing and safe speed. Last year the campaign interacted with over 4,000 boaties and this year is expected to be even bigger.

“We will be back on the water from tomorrow (Saturday 10 October), right through to the end of March 2021, working with our council partners to ensure everyone is following the rules,” says Sharyn Forsyth, Maritime NZ Deputy Director and Chair of the Safer Boating Forum.

“Harbourmasters and Maritime NZ staff will be out and about monitoring our waterways and taking a firm approach to people breaching the rules, especially where safety of other water users is put at risk. There is no excuse for not doing what is right to keep everyone safe on the water.”

Luke Grogan, Marlborough District Council Harbourmaster, has been involved in the campaign since it began five years ago, and has seen it go from strength to strength.

“We are expecting a very busy summer on the water with more kiwis than ever before looking to recreate in their own ‘backyards’. Local retailers are reporting high volumes of boat and jetski sales, as well as kayaks and paddleboards and there is a general sense that everyone wants to get out on the water to relax and have some fun at the end what has been an extremely challenging year. With potential for a record number of vessels on the water, we are asking all boaties to prepare fully by taking note of the safer boating rules and ensure you comply with them, so everyone gets home safely,” says Mr Grogan.

While we applaud the high numbers of people who follow safe boating behaviours there is no room for complacency, Ms Forsyth says.

“As part of our work to ensure safer boating, we are continually looking at what we can do to improve safe behaviour through awareness and education, to avoid the need for infringements. However, there will be consequences for people breaching maritime rules and local bylaws. It’s part of the total compliance toolbox that we use.

“While all recreational water-based activity this season will need to be undertaken in line with the prevailing COVID-19 Alert Level, I encourage everyone to enjoy their time on the water while acting responsibly and safely at all times.” Ms Forsyth adds.

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