Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation  noise  music  property  testing  crafts  CALD  cultural diversity  creativity  library  Hornby  skills  placemaking  regenerative communities  journey  reflection  regional council  councillors  water management  emergency management  retirement  stress management  Christmas  family  festival  alcohol harm  waterways  planting  health protection  legionnaire's disease  hepatitis  heatwaves 

Remember to ‘Prep, Check and Know’ before you go near the water

Thursday, November 17, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: water, safety, summer, harm, injury prevention

Environment Canterbury media release: 17th November 2022

The Canterbury/ Waitaha region is home to numerous and diverse waterways, from coastal areas through to braided rivers and inland lakes. Whether you're kayaking on the Waimakariri, jet skiing with friends, bay hopping by jet boat, fishing from a sailboat or paddleboarding off the beach, being safe is the key to having fun in/on Canterbury's waterways.

Aotearoa is a nation of water lovers, with over 50 percent of the population estimated to be regular boaties - and 14 percent of those boaties live in Canterbury. On a calm, clear day, it can be easy to forget that humans are not built for the water. The average person can only hold their breath for 30 to 90 seconds, and tires very easily in the water, particularly when fighting strong currents or undertows.

Complacency or over-confidence in or on the water can lead to significant harm.

"We love seeing the harbours, lakes, and rivers teaming with aquatic activity during the warm weather, but we also need to make sure that everyone is taking the time to do so safely," said Navigation Safety Officer John Kent.

Three biggest risk factors

Current research shows that three risk factors most likely to cause death and injury on the water are:

  • not wearing lifejackets;
  • an inability to communicate when an accident happens; or
  • not checking forecasts to avoid boating in bad weather and sea, lake or river conditions.

Whatever your level of experience, we want you to remember three key things. Before heading out on the water make sure you:

  1. Have prepped your vessel;
  2. Have checked your gear; and
  3. Know the local rules.

Prep your vessel

Like your car, your vessels (including paddleboards and kayaks) need maintenance and an annual check. Are the bilges blocked? Is your bung 'bung'? Is there a hole in the hull? Is the fuel line leaky? Make sure your vessel is working as it should before you go on the water and that any problems are dealt with beforehand! Other things to check include:

  • electrical equipment and lighting are working;
  • batteries are charged;
  • paddles are in good condition, not damaged;
  • cooling water is flowing to the engine; and
  • outboard, pull cord, kill switch, throttle and gear shift are working.

Check your gear

Make sure you have all your essential safety items onboard, namely:

  • One suitable, fitted lifejacket for each person onboard. In Canterbury, everyone onboard a vessel under six metres must always wear a lifejacket. Even in calm conditions you can still fall overboard, and it’s not easy to put on a lifejacket once you’re in the water! On larger vessels, there must be one suitable, fitted lifejacket for every person onboard.
  • Two waterproof ways to call for help, even if you’re in a kayak or you’re paddleboarding. These could include:
    • VHF radio (VHF is not reliable in the Waitaki Lakes district, so you will need two other ways to call for help);
    • an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) or a PLB (personal locator beacon);
    • a cellphone (only if it’s in a waterproof bag, is charged, and you’re close to land); or
    • flares (red hand-held flares are recommended).

"It’s also important to let someone back home know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Much better to have a plan in place and not have to use it than need one and not have it," said John.

Also make sure you have navigation equipment, such as a GPS, and emergency equipment, such as a spare onboard motor or oars, a throwline, a first aid kit, and fire extinguishers.

Know the local rules

Pay attention to the laws of the seas, lakes and rivers - both Mother Nature’s laws and human-made ones.

Cantabrians are 52 percent less likely than the national average to check the marine or rural weather forecast before heading out on the water (according to a recent Maritime NZ survey) - sometimes resulting in preventable accidents and injuries.

If you’re in charge of any vessel - whether it's a powered or a human-propelled one - then it’s your responsibility to check the latest marine weather forecast (or rural forecast for lakes) and the local conditions.

Conditions can change very quickly on the water, so if there’s a storm looming or the conditions are set to deteriorate while you’re on the water, take this into consideration.

Identify your vessel

In Canterbury, a bylaw states that your boat (including jet skis) needs an identifying number on each side of the hull. The ID must be at least 90 millimetres high and be distinguishable to the naked eye from 50 metres away. It could be printed on a sticker from a sign shop or it could be painted on.

An ID number provides a starting point for locating the owners of any washed-up vessels, and also allows people to provide identification information to the Harbourmaster’s Office when they are reporting concerns with boating behaviour.

"At the Harbourmaster’s Office, we’re taking an education-first approach to this issue. Recently, we found an upturned jet ski near Motunau Island, sparking a full search and rescue operation. If the vessel had an ID number, we could have contacted the owner instantly and found out the vessel had just drifted away," John said. 

Non-powered vessels measuring six metres or less, paddle craft, and vessels solely powered by oars (like kayaks and canoes) only need a contact name and phone number written somewhere on board.