Coastguard’s Kawhia Bar Awareness Day proved once again to be a popular event for boaties on Sunday with over 70 people attending.
Boaties came from as far as Taupo to participate in one of four crossings of the notorious Kawhia Bar to educate themselves on being safe on the water this summer.
Representatives from Coastguard’s Northern Region, the Waikato Regional Council and a local boating operator explained in detail the specific dangers of the Kawhia Bar before taking the boaties out on the water and showing them how to cross it safely. The team also discussed the range of services offered by Coastguard and the importance of various communication channels.
Darren Arthur, Education Manager for Coastguard’s Northern Region Maritime School, says the day offered a good opportunity for Coastguard to tell their story and reiterate critical safety messages.
“Holding awareness days like this allows us to really emphasise the importance of water safety and how the services Coastguard provide help to ensure that New Zealanders can continue to enjoy their summer on the water safely.
“Bar crossings can be particularly dangerous so giving boaties the opportunity to hear from speakers who have experienced the dangers firsthand really helps to drum home the importance and value of safe boating.”
Groups of 17 people were taken over the bar aboard Raglan rescue vessel, Harbour View Rescue, where they learnt what is involved in successfully crossing the bar and the dangers they can face while attempting to do so.
“The feedback we’ve received from some of the participants has been hugely positive and we couldn’t have done it without the help of the Kawhia Boating and Angling Club, Waikato Regional Council, Alan Rutherford, volunteers from the Coastguard Raglan unit and the local community.
“We are looking forward to holding this popular event again in future.”
To ensure water safety remains top of mind for local boaties in the lead up to summer, Coastguard Northern Region is bringing two of its popular water safety courses to the area with a Boatmaster course taking place on the third of November in Raglan and the Marine VHF Radio course running on November 20 in Kawhia.
For more information on these courses and to book your place, visit www.coastguard.org.nz