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Waikato supports drive on lifejackets

Waikato Regional Council is lending its support to a new national push to ensure people comply with lifejacket regulations while out on the water.

Maritime NZ has announced the new “no excuses” drive today as part of Safer Boating Week. It said fines of up to $300 could be imposed for breaches of regulations, with the size of the maximum fine varying between regions involved.

Waikato has for some years had a “no excuses” policy under which people failing to carry the required number of lifejackets on vessels out on the water are fined up to $200.

“We’ll be carrying on with this approach as part of our support for Maritime NZ’s national initiative involving seven other councils,” said maritime services team leader Richard Barnett.

“The council’s boats will also be assisting Maritime NZ officers to do educational and enforcement work as part of this initiative.”

Mr Barnett explained that under Waikato’s rules people on boats out on the water must each have a lifejacket and actually wear them at all times if the boat is six metres and under in length or on all vessels at times of heightened risk, such as crossing a bar.

“These rules are designed to save lives. We want all boaties to come home safe to their families at the end of their journeys.”

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