Frances Cook is a Wellington based multimedia reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Coastguard urging boaties to take more care over Waitangi long weekend

The Coastguard is urging boaties to check their boat is mechanically sound, that they have enough fuel for the journey and back, and take safety precautions including wearing lifejackets and taking two waterproof forms of communication. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The Coastguard is urging boaties to check their boat is mechanically sound, that they have enough fuel for the journey and back, and take safety precautions including wearing lifejackets and taking two waterproof forms of communication. Photo / Brett Phibbs

As Waitangi weekend approaches, the Coastguard is pleading with boaties to take more care.

Auckland Coastguard volunteers were inundated with rescue calls over the Auckland Anniversary weekend, logging 1,700 calls on Sunday alone.

That's an average of 71 calls an hour.

95 incidents were attended, including one where a vessel sank off Waiheke Island.

In another serious incident the outboard engine of a boat failed, leaving the vessel drifting out to sea.

Coastguard Northern Region Operations Manager Ray Burge said it's easy for a nice weekend to be ruined by incidents on the water.

"The Coastguard Operations Centre took as many radio calls from boaties in the three days of the Anniversary Weekend as we usually do in an average winter's month.

"With Waitangi Day approaching, Coastguard volunteers are again preparing to spend their long weekend breaks out on the water, assisting boaties in need."

To avoid unnecessary rescues boaties should check their boat is mechanically sound, that they have enough fuel for the journey and back, and take safety precautions including wearing life jackets and taking two waterproof forms of communication.

- NZ Herald

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