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Published: 2015-12-17 00:00:00

Boaties are being urged to join the crowds checking out bar crossing safety videos as the number of views surges to nearly 100,000.

The videos – which give expert advice on how to cross notoriously dangerous harbour bars in Waikato and Bay of Plenty – have been proving extremely popular since their launch in July 2014.

“We urge any boaties planning to cross the bars to check them out,” says maritime services project manager Kim Parker.

“And those boaties who’ve already seen them are advised to do a refresher viewing if they’re planning to do bar crossings after a break away from boating.”

After a number of years seeing boaties ending up in trouble when crossing bars, the council put together a series of bar crossing films with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, supported by the Coastguard, Maritime NZ, and Water Safety NZ.

The bars covered in the videos include Bowentown and Kaituna in Bay of Plenty, and Raglan and Tairua in Waikato.

Bar crossings are the biggest cause of reported boating incidents in Waikato.

‘We’ve already seen an unfortunate incident on the Raglan bar this summer season, which we believe could have been avoided with better planning and education,” says Kim.

“Crossing any bar is dangerous so it’s really important to get good information and good local knowledge.

“It’s really easy to underestimate how dangerous crossing a bar is and getting educated is essential to help avoid getting into trouble.”

The videos are available at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/barcrossing.