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  • 2021 March 14 12:33

    Maritime NZ encourages on-water safety as America’s Cup resumes

    Maritime NZ is reminding boaties and spectators how to be safe as America’s Cup racing kicks off tomorrow.

    Neil Rowarth, Northern Compliance Manager said his team has already interacted with over 1,000 boaties and operators providing safety advice on the boat ramps and marinas – making it the biggest single event safety campaign Maritime NZ has ever run.

    Maritime Officers will be back interacting with boaties during racing when Auckland returns to COVID-19 Alert Level 1.

    “While Auckland remains at Alert Level 2 we want to remind boaties heading out to watch the America’s Cup that lifejacket wearing and keeping a safe speed are crucial,” Rowarth said.

    “If you’re the skipper, you’re legally responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board.”

    “Wearing your lifejacket is the single most important thing to do to help keep yourself safe on the water. Skippers must carry correctly-sized lifejackets for everyone on board.

    “We’re also telling boaties to understand and comply with the established course boundaries and follow the speed limits.

    “The maximum speed permitted for all boats is 5 knots – about 9 kilometres an hour – within 200 metres of shore and within 50 metres of any other boat or swimmer. There is also a 5 knot speed restriction within the harbour and in the vicinity of the race course – listen to VHF channel 16 for details. When you get to the race course, listen to VHF Channel 4 for updates on race details.

    “Speeding in congested areas is dangerous and can cause serious injuries to others.”

    If you’re thinking of heading out on the water during the race series, you can find more information about navigating the Waitematā Harbour and Hauraki Gulf on Auckland Transport’s website: https://at.govt.nz/boating-marine/americas-cup-information-for-skippers/

    Spectators choosing a charter vessel to watch the Cup are reminded to ‘Look for the Flag’. Maritime NZ has handed out 107 of the distinctive pink and yellow flags that shows the operator is in a recognised safety system or has an exemption.

    “Exemptions are only granted when operators can show they have an equivalent or better level of safety,” Rowarth said.

    “The moment we’ve waited nearly four years for has arrived! We wish the two teams luck and everyone watching an exciting and safe America’s Cup.”


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