Maketū Coastguard is offering Bay of Plenty boaties an opportunity to increase their knowledge of crossing local river bars in an upcoming training event.

Due to high demand, the Bar Crossing Training Event will be held from 8 am on December 9, at the Kaituna Cut near Maketū.

Boaties, fishermen and their families would be able to increase their knowledge of crossing local river bars including the Kaituna, Maketū and Pukehina.

The training event also includes safe boating techniques and boating equipment.

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Participants could improve their own skills, meet the Maketū Coastguard crew and get a chance to cross the bar in the safe hand of the Coastguard crew on one of their emergency rescue vessels, Eastpack Rescue and Kohinui Rescue.

Maketū Coastguard president Shane Beech said bar crossings were one of the most hazardous aspects of boating in the area.

"This training is a great opportunity to update yourself and don't forget wives and partners. If there is an accident at sea, they will also need to have the skills and knowledge to get you across the bar safely," Beech said.

He said bar crossing accidents could happen to even the most experienced crew and the event was an ideal opportunity to get together with other local boaties and refresh your knowledge.

Maketū Coastguard bar crossing training:

• The event will take place on December 9, 8.00am, registration at the Maketū Coastguard Base, Kaituna Cut, Ford Rd, Maketū.

• The training session would include a study of the river bar, a refresher of boating safety, how to cross a river bar safely and a trip over the bar in one of the rescue boats.

• The training session is free to all current Maketū Coastguard members, or at a cost of $85 for non members (donations of $30 are requested from National or other coastguard unit members to help cover costs).

• To book a place phone 021 139 3598 or email maketucoastguard@gmail.com

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