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Published: 2008-05-15 00:00:00

Waikato boaties heading to the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show in Auckland this week can check out Environment Waikato's stand for tips and advice about how to stay safe on the water.

Navigation safety manger David Pearks said harbour masters and staff members would be on site to answer questions and provide practical advice about Waikato boating areas, including Raglan and the Coromandel.
 
"Our staff have an in-depth knowledge of these areas and will be happy to talk people through the rules and regulations covering boating in our region, such as what lights you need, how fast you can travel in particular areas and how to safely tow a water-skier," Mr Pearks said.
 
"They can also provide information and advice on hazards and bar crossings and show boaties how to access weather reports, bar reports and maps."
 
The council will also be giving away free "boaties packs" with great pointers and tips from a variety of organisations about how to stay safe on the water.
 
Environment Waikato is at site 717 in the Toyota Marine Finance Discover Boating Centre, where action-packed demonstrations will be running throughout the boat show.  Activities include kids' fishing competitions, a colouring in competition, a safe boating quiz, demonstrations by top young Optimist sailors and the Police Dive Squad, kayak rolling, a Coastguard trip report contest and underwater breath-holding demonstrations by free divers. Rob Hewitt, one of the MCs of the event, will also be speaking about his experiences in 2006 of staying alive in the water for three days.
 
The boat show starts today at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland and runs until the end of the week, with free entry for kids aged 5-13 on Sunday (if they are accompanied by a paying adult, maximum two children per adult).