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Source: Maritime New Zealand

Maritime NZ has distributed more than 110 distinctive yellow and pink flags to approved commercial operators providing on-the-water viewing for the Prada Cup racing starting this week.

The presence of the flag means spectators can have confidence they are travelling with an approved commercial operator as they watch the America’s Cup yachts.

“The flag shows that the operator is in a Maritime NZ recognised safety system or has an exemption,” Neil Rowarth, Maritime NZ’s Compliance Manager – North, said. “Exemptions are only granted when operators can show they have an equivalent or better level of safety.”

“Commercial operators are regularly audited to make sure the way they work is safe.” Mr Rowarth said. “Crews must be appropriately trained and certified and the vessels must be surveyed.”

For those reasons, Mr Rowarth recommends that people looking to pay to go out on the water to watch the racing look for the pink and yellow flag.

He warned against recreational boaties planning to make money by charging to take people out. “Maritime Officers will be out and about during the racing.  If you are using a recreational boat to take out fare paying passengers then you are breaking the law and there will be consequences.  You also may not be covered by your insurance policy – this could be very expensive should something go wrong.  It is simply not a good idea to be doing it,” he said.

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