Boaties flouting navigational safety rules by getting dangerously close to large ships, are being warned they will be prosecuted.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council says a growing number of skippers are breaking the bylaws, which require boats to stay more than 500 metres away from a ships bow when crossing its path.

The Council says boaties are being prosecuted because the warnings haven't been enough to deter some.

He says the bylaws exist to protect smaller boats because they would be most affected in a collision.


A commercial vessel is currently being prosecuted for breaching the bylaws last year.