Near-misses spark warning to boaties

File photo / APN
File photo / APN

Two serious near-misses in the waters off the Bay of Plenty have sparked a warning for recreational boaties to stay well clear of commercial fishing vessels.

Eastern Bay of Plenty harbourmaster Brian Spake said the incidents in the past five months, involved recreational boaties' anchors getting snagged by commercial fishing gear, which can extend more than 1km.

"Luckily, the boaties realised their vessels could be pulled under and took quick action, which probably saved their lives - and the commercial vessels steamed on totally unaware of what had occurred," he said.

"These incidents are a frightening reminder for recreational boaties to anchor at least one nautical mile away from any commercial vessel in operation and keep a vigilant watch out."

In both incidents, the commercial fishers had met their legal requirements to display lights and daymarks.

Mr Spake said it was important for boaties to report all incidents and near-misses to the local harbourmaster and Maritime New Zealand.

He encouraged all boaties to undertake a skipper's course with their local Coastguard to ensure they knew how to keep themselves safe on the water.

- APNZ

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