New boat safety officer for Kaikōura

Anthony Powell - Kaikoura boat safety officer

Kaikōura boaties will have spotted a new face around South Bay this summer.

Anthony Powell has been employed as a boat safety officer, a joint initiative between Kaikōura District Council and Environment Canterbury.

For the past two summers, Kaikōura hasn’t had a boat safety officer but this collaborative effort has made it possible.

The role entails promoting boating safety, checking compliance, and monitoring payments for the boat ramp.

Kevin Heays, Environment Canterbury’s zone manager for Kaikōura, Hurunui, Waiau, was one of the key figures in getting it off the ground with support from navigation safety officer Gary Manch, and Bruce Apperley, community facilities engineer for Kaikōura District Council.

“The boat safety officer project has been a great way for Council and Environment Canterbury to work together to ensure the safety of our community and visitors this summer,” Apperley said.

“With increased traffic and use of boats over the summer period, it’s important to ensure that people are abiding by the rules and keeping themselves, and each other, as safe as possible.”

Apperley said the public response to the increased support was pleasing.

“Having someone keeping an eye on the ramp and ensuring users pay helps Council make sure those who use the ramp are contributing to the repair and maintenance of it.

“We are excited to see the outcome of this project and appreciate the way the community has worked with the boat safety officer so far.”

Good compliance

Meanwhile, Manch said he was pleased with the recent ‘No Excuses’ day in Kaikōura on January 11.

There was 100 per cent compliance among boaties regarding lifejackets and only two warnings were issued for speed.

Manch said monitoring speed was one of the biggest challenges they faced throughout Canterbury this summer.

“We want to see boaties enjoying themselves, but they need to remember that safety is important when it comes to speed,” Manch said.

“We need people to be aware of when and where they can exceed the 5-knot limit.”

Boaties cannot travel faster than 5 knots when they’re within 200m of the shore and 50m of other vessels or swimmers.

People can check in on the navigation safety bylaw, for more information.