Maritime NZ is once again urging boaties to take care on the water during the holidays because "nobody's faster than disaster".

"With the boating season well underway for the summer, Maritime NZ is continuing to push our message that complacency or simple lack of care can very quickly, tragically end in disaster," Maritime NZ director Keith Manch said.

"In taking a few simple steps, boaties can help keep themselves, their friends and loved ones safer."

This summer's campaign reinforces the messages in the Boating Safety Code to help keep safety top of mind throughout the season.


This code has been developed by the 23 boating organisations, businesses, and government agencies that make up the Safer Boating Forum:

* wear your lifejacket — this is the single most important thing to do to help keep yourself safer on the water
* take two waterproof ways to call for help — if you can't tell someone you are in trouble, then no one can rescue you
* check the marine weather forecast — it is not the same as land and general forecasts, the weather will be different on the water
* avoid alcohol — you know not to drink and drive, it's the same on a boat
* be a responsible skipper — the skipper is legally responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board

"While all of these messages are equally important, we are putting particular emphasis this year on the use of maritime VHF radio and maintaining good lifejacket behaviour," Mr Manch said.

"Carrying a VHF radio is your rescue network at sea.
"Your call can be heard by many people at the same time and the distress channel — channel 16 is monitored 24/7.
"We are currently running a multi-media ad campaign including a TV ad based on the real rescue of three boaties in July this year.
"They used VHF radio to alert authorities that they needed help and were safely rescued.
"We are also encouraging people to be vigilant with their lifejackets.
"Just wearing one isn't enough and they need to be checked regularly to ensure they're safe.
"Maritime NZ is proud to continue funding Coastguard's 'Old4New' lifejacket upgrade campaign so you can trade in your old lifejacket for a discount on a new one.
"This year $70,000 has gone towards upgrading 4000 old lifejackets to new ones.
"We encourage boaties to keep an eye out for their van that is touring the country, visiting 56 locations this summer.
"If you miss the van, you can still receive the offer at participating retailers."