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How to Stay Safe While Boating


Whether you’re into fishing, sailing, diving, cruising or just having fun, boating safety awareness is essential. 

Many boating tragedies are caused by an error in judgement relating to equipment, the weather or behaviour. Make sure you keep out of trouble by knowing the environment, having the right equipment on board and acting responsible at all times.




Boating Safety Code

Follow the five rules of the boating safety code:

1. Life Jackets
Boats, especially ones under six metres in length, can sink very quickly. Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time in the water.
 2. Communications
Take two separate waterproof ways of communicating so we can help you if you get into difficulties.
 3. Marine Weather
New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.

4. Avoid Alcohol
Safe boating and alcohol do not mix. Things can change quickly on the water. You need to stay alert and aware.

5. Skipper Responsibility
The skipper is responsible for the safety or everyone on board and for the safe operation of the boat. Stay within the limits of your vessel and your experience.

Visit the AdventureSmart website for more information on the Download the Boating-Safety-Code

VHF Radio - Your Rescue Network at Sea

A true story courtesy of Maritime New Zealand.

A VHF radio saved the lives of three boaties when their boat capsized. Carry at least two waterproof ways to call for help - VHF radios and distress beacons are great options. Learn more:


Safe Boating Courses

Even though no licence is required to operate a pleasure boat in New Zealand, ignorance of any Maritime Rules or Bylaws is not accepted as an excuse. Failure to comply can lead to fines or prosecution.

Coastguard Boating Education is New Zealand’s leading provider of recreational boating courses. There are courses for all levels of knowledge and ability, including the Day Skipper course, which should be completed by anyone in charge of a boat.

Visit the Coastguard Boating Education website for more information


How to Stay Safe While Boating

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