A man found in the water near his yacht in Tauranga Harbour and a search for a man who never returned home after a fishing trip were among six tragic boating-related fatalities in the Bay of Plenty this year.

Six out of 19 boating-related deaths nationwide happened in the Bay of Plenty, according to Maritime New Zealand.

Tauranga harbourmaster Peter Buell said the statistics for Bay of Plenty were entirely disproportionate.

"Unfortunately a lot of these deaths have been preventable. Whether you have a kayak, jetski, waka, sail or power boat, you must know the rules, have the right equipment, and be a responsible skipper," Buell said.


During the holiday period the Bay of Plenty Regional Council will have six-to-eight patrols on the water every day.

Buell said no lifejackets and unsafe speed were two of the biggest risks of death and injury, and the patrols helped ensure boaties take this risk seriously.

Boaties were also being reminded that bar crossing was one of the most dangerous things they will ever do on a boat.

"Its a high-risk activity for even the most experienced boatie. A lifejacket must be worn when crossing a bar and if in doubt skippers shouldn't go out," Buell said.


04/01/2017 - Skipper jumped into the water to retrieve their hat at Lake Rotoiti and had previously removed their lifejacket

17/01/2017 - A kayaker's body was found in the water near Marama Point, Lake Rotorua

17/03/2017 - A man water skiing without a lifejacket at Lake Rotoiti fell and when the boat turned to recover them they were unable to be found.

22/08/2017 - A search was initiated after a boat with one on board failed to return from a fishing trip in Tauranga. A body was found the following day.

20/11/2017 - A small dinghy with three on board overturned on the Waihi Coast. Two made it to shore but one was last seen clinging to the upturned hull.

02/12/2017 - A man was found deceased in the water near his yacht on the approach to Tauranga Harbour.