As the last weekend of the summer boating season approaches, Waikato Regional Council’s Maritime Services are strongly urging water users not to head out on the water this weekend until the weather system passes.
The forecast shows high winds on Waikato’s coastlines which are expected to create dangerous boating conditions. Big swell heights averaging two to three metres plus are likely.
Meanwhile, Lake Taupo’s lake level is expected to rise approximately half a metre, creating fast currents along areas of the Waikato River.
Bar crossing alerts have also been put in place in Tairua and these can be checked via the coastguard radio.
“We’re advising people to stay away from the water until things calm down. If people do have plans to head out later in the weekend once the weather subsides, they should check the weather forecasts and take proper safety precautions. If in doubt, don’t go out,” says Maritime Services team leader Richard Barnett.
“This weekend’s weather will be highly unpredictable and calm lulls that are expected later in the weekend may change in an instant,” he says.
Boaties are also reminded to report damaged vessels or vessels that have drifted from moorings to the relevant harbourmaster for each area. Harbourmasters’ contact details are available on the Waikato Regional Council website waikatoregion.govt.nz/contact-navigation-safety-team.
Here are some simple rules to remember when out on the water:
- Skipper responsibility
Every skipper of a vessel is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of all people on board and for the safe operation of their vessel. Stay within the limits of your vessel and your experience.
- Life jackets save lives
In the Waikato, lifejackets must be worn at all times while on the water in vessels measuring six metres in length or smaller.
Carry at least one waterproof way of communicating with a land based person and coastguard.
- Marine weather
New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.