Boaties asked to report accidents

Boaties are being encouraged to report incidents to the harbourmaster’s office to help prevent similar events in the future.

Environment Canterbury navigation safety officer Gary Manch has called on boaties to report their accidents following a handful of incidents during the holiday period.

“We have learned about some recent accidents in the wider Canterbury region through media reports rather than being told directly,” Manch said.

“We don’t want to punish people for being involved in an accident, we just want to hear what happened, so we can learn from it and look for ways to improve boating safety for everyone.”

The incidents were spread across Lake Benmore, Loch Laird, and Morven in southern Canterbury.

Manch said this was a learning opportunity for people to come forward so the harbourmaster’s office could be of more assistance to boaties in the future.

People could also report incidents to Maritime New Zealand.

Good behaviour

Meanwhile, Manch said the recent behaviour of Canterbury boaties had been exemplary.

“Our boaties have been great this summer and we hope this will continue during the sunny season.

“We have only had to issue one fine this summer, which was for speeding.”

Manch said boaties who broke the rules would likely be issued with a written warning or an infringement notice.

He also wanted to remind people to check their lifejackets before they went out on the water.

“All equipment should be tested and inspected before you go on your boat.”

People can report accidents by contacting the harbourmaster’s office on harbourmaster@ecan.govt.nz or ringing the on-duty officer number on 03) 328 9168.