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Published: 2013-11-26 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council’s navigation safety team is urging boaties to be very mindful of their speed on the river through Hamilton, after the skipper of a boat deemed incapable of complying with the five knot rule was warned not to continue operating.

Harbourmaster Richard Barnett heard a very throaty roar today when the boat was on the river near the city centre after launching at the Grantham St boat ramp. Several calls about the noise were also received from members of the public.

Mr Barnett drove to the ramp to find the boat just offshore, with the crew apparently about to set off again.

He signalled the boat ashore and spoke with the skipper, explaining that the immediate area was a five knot zone and that his vessel was incapable of going that slow given it was powered by a direct drive in-board.

“I suggested he would be better operating from other boat ramps in less busy areas,” Mr Barnett said.

“To his credit, the skipper was cooperative and the boat was taken from the water and put on to its trailer.”

Mr Barnett said the river speed limit near the Grantham St ramp is five knots in recognition of the fact that it is a “mixed use” area where activities include rowing, waka ama paddling and swimming at the Wellington St beach.

“Boaties should remember their craft need to be appropriate for the area and keep their speed to the limit.”