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Source: Maritime New Zealand

While the weather may not be great on the water in June, Maritime New Zealand says it is the perfect time to prepare your water craft and equipment for when the time is right.

“The long weekends coming up – to celebrate Queen’s Birthday and Matariki – are great opportunities to prepare for the months ahead,” Senior Adviser Recreational Boating and Common Compliance, Matt Wood says.

“Undertaking these simple checks will help protect you, your passengers and other water users.

The first step is to check your lifejackets, make sure there is no damage and they are still fit for purpose.

“Old lifejackets can fail in an emergency.

“Most manufacturers recommend lifejackets are replaced every 10 years, or if there is noticeable damage,” Matt Wood says.

Information on checking your lifejacket is available at www.maritimenz.govt.nz/lifejackets.

It is also important to check the expiry dates on emergency beacons and fire extinguishers.

“These are often forgotten about, but in an emergency you need this equipment to be in working order.”

While checking your safety equipment on-board, Maritime NZ also recommends boaties undertake a full clean, flush out of engines and stress test of other safety equipment on-board.

“Checking batteries for torches, radios, ropes and flares will ensure you can hit the water with peace of mind next time you head out.

“Salty water can speed up the degradation process of items, causing the lifespans to shorten if they are often exposed,” Matt Wood says.

“Spending a couple of hours doing these checks now will pay off when you do go out again in a couple of months’ time,” says Matt.

Maritime NZ also recommends you make sure you have the necessary resources on your vessel, including (among other things):

  • Boat hook and throwing line
  • Warm clothing
  • First aid kit
  • Navigation equipment
  • Bailing system
  • Rope
  • Waterproof torch
  • Alternative power (a spare outboard, oars or paddles).

www.maritimenz.govt.nz/check-your-gear

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