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Published: 2011-09-09 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council is reminding those using waka ama and rowing skiffs on the river in Hamilton that failing to follow river safety rules endangers the lives and well-being of themselves and other water users.

A number of recent complaints, including  a near miss where a waka outrigger hugged the wrong side of bank while a rowing skiff came around a blind corner, reinforce  that following the rules is integral to keeping everyone safe while out on the water, said Hamilton harbourmaster Richard Barnett..

“It’s very important that people do follow the rules – particularly as more power boats, waka, skiffs and other craft take to the river over spring and summer – or else there’s clear potential for serious injury and loss of life, as well as damage to vessels.

“The rules are pretty simple so there’s really no excuse for not following them.

“People should keep to their right hand side of the river.

“Lights must be switched on from sunset to sunrise and during times of poor visibility, such as in rain or fog.”

“Waka ama and rowing support vessels should ensure their vessel’s wake doesn’t create a hazard to other users and keep to five knots within 50 metres of another vessel or swimmer.

“Also, give way to vessels coming down stream.”

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