Five short films have been created to help boaties identify dangerous bars while at sea, and how to cross them safely.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waikato Regional Council produced the films with funding from ACC, Maritime NZ and Coastguard.
The films walk boaties through key safety steps to ensure a safer bar crossing. The films include Bowentown, Kaituna and Maketu bars in the Bay of Plenty and Raglan and Tairua bars in the Waikato region. Making the films cost about $70,000.
Bay of Plenty regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said that because of the risks involved in bar crossings, the two Regional Councils were keen to get as much information as possible to boaties, especially before the summer boating season began.
"We want to teach people to make these crossings safely and the films will help people improve their boating behaviour in these dangerous situations.
The films make it clear that there are three types of bar crossings - dangerous, very dangerous and extremely dangerous."
Boaties are advised to check the weather within 12 hours of their trip, check the tide, always avoiding a low or ebb tide, talk to locals about the bar conditions and contact Coastguard before and after making the crossing.
Everyone needs to wear a lifejacket, and loose items including anchors need to be tied down.
"As always, if in doubt don't go out," Mr Buell said.
The new videos are on Bay of Plenty Regional Council's website at www.boprc.govt.nz/barcrossingvideos.