|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Hawke's Bay Regional Council Harbourmaster Charlie Rycroft says someone will be hurt or worse, if people keep swimming at the boat access lane at Mahia Beach when boats are moving through the lane.
He says that, although the maximum boat speed in this area is 5 knots, it is still difficult for boat skippers to see if people are in the way. Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws define reserved areas for boats access on some parts of the coast.
“The boat lane at Mahia is reserved for boats to have access to the ramp - that’s its primary purpose, and it’s dangerous to swim there as they could be hit by a boat or propeller,” says Captain Charlie Rycroft.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council is providing new maker buoys and signs, and the Mahia Boating and Fishing Club have volunteered to put these out to mark the lane.
“A boat skipper may not see you in the water,” he warns. “There’s plenty more beach for swimmers to use, and they are advised to swim elsewhere.”
Captain Rycroft says that even though the friendly dolphin Moko may go there, people should not follow him into the boat access lane.
“The dolphin is highly attractive for swimmers but people still need to swim in safe areas – maybe Moko will follow them there.”