Houhora transmitter reaches far and wide

A new marine radio service aims to give Far North boaties the latest information on weather conditions and safety.

The latest transmitter in Coastguard New Zealand's Nowcasting network was installed atop Houhora's Mt Camel, between Kaitaia and Cape Reinga, on August 4.

The Coastguard-invented marine safety service has been tailored to give boaties in the Far North real-time marine weather forecasts and safety information via marine VHF radio channel 20.

Mike Lawrence, IT manager for Coastguard Northern Region, said the service would help boaties make better decisions about weather and conditions.

It was part of Coastguard's strategy of promoting safe and enjoyable boating, with the new Houhora station making the service available to roughly 80 per cent of New Zealand's coastline.

The Houhora station could be heard from Ahipara in the west to the Cavalli Islands in the east, and beyond North Cape.

It was funded by Pub Charity and a donation from Land Information New Zealand.

The new service complements existing marine radio services such as Russell Radio and Far North Coastguard Radio.

A Nowcasting service via text message is also available. For information on how to register and the costs, go to www.coastguard.org.nz, click on the Safe Boating tab.

- Northern Advocate

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