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Published: 2010-02-11 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is welcoming the extension of Coastguard’s Nowcasting services to the Raglan and Kawhia harbours.

Installation of a new transmitter in Raglan means boaties can now access weather information on marine VHF channel 21 before leaving Kawhia and Raglan Harbours. The signal also reaches some parts of Hamilton.

"Up to date weather information is very important for assessing marine risks, particularly those involved in crossing bars," said navigation safety programme manager Shelley Monrad.

Just last month five people were thrown into the water after a mishap at the Raglan bar.

"The Coastguard deserves credit for making more information available on the west coast. It could well help avoid some of the accidents we’ve seen, particularly on the Raglan bar," said Ms Monrad.

"I encourage people before they go out on the water, off Kawhia and Raglan, to tune in regularly to ensure they have the latest information.

"Bar crossings can be a particularly hazardous activity and boaties are well advised to arm themselves with as much weather information as possible to help them minimize risk."

For more information on bar crossings, go to www.coastguard.org.nz or www.ew.govt.nz/barsafety