Boating NZ : FREE TO READ April 2014
subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 7 The continuing lifejacket debate... ON THE WHOLE I agree with your comments on the new by-law about lifejackets. I have just made a submission as a result of your alerting me to the process. However, I do think two points need emphasis. Small dinghies in transit between boats or between boats and the shore are to be exempt. This is important and should be supported. I think the main ground for objection to the law relates to boats at anchor in sheltered waters. In your recent Editorial you paint this picture in relation to a possible future scenario. I wonder whether this is not the key point upon which all boaties need to unite. We should not be asked to wear lifejackets when at anchor for the evening in a sheltered bay. I think the argument about small boats under way and close to a friendly shore is less secure. I do support your point that education is the way to go, but my concern is that we might lose the whole game if we don’t focus on what really matters. I actually do wear a lifejacket when under way and I think this mostly makes sense. I would hate to have to wear one at anchor in a sheltered bay – whatever size the boat. The stupid thing about that is that I tend to swim off the boat anyway, under these circumstances. It will be interesting to see how this works out. Alan Merry, Glendowie I HAVE JUST READ your column in the current issue and totally agree with your comments regarding lifejackets. I have a 15m launch and am now required to have everyone on board wearing a lifejacket as I cross the Tairua Bar even when it is flat calm. Then we have the Waikato Regional Council harbour master who over Christmas was flagging down boats as they crossed the bar and advising everyone they had to wear lifejackets, otherwise face a $200 fine per person. Stopping vessels crossing the bar tells a lot about his boating skills and I see one person drowned in 2012 while crossing a bar. When conditions are suspect, I require all passengers to wear lifejackets but I can make that call. Below is a link to drowning statistics for New Zealand which makes interesting reading. The greatest causes of drowning in this country appear to be people swimming at beaches or crossing rivers and males are the biggest offenders. Surely the simple solution for our politicians would be to make it compulsory for all male swimmers and river crossers to wear lifejackets. You could have a field day with this information. www.watersafety.org.nz/statistics/drowning- statistics/ Jim Jackson Onehunga THE LATEST COPY of your magazine has arrived and is currently being read and reread (and then stored for later rereading in a year or so) and I have to comment on the Editorial and the letter from Warren Thorburn. I unreservedly support the sentiments presented by both parties. It is without doubt a vexing issue but I doubt that a simple by-law is going to fix the problem because many won’t wear lifejackets and enforcement will become an ever-increasing problem. When was the last time we saw the harbour master in a bay enforcing the speed limit or the use of PWCs in inappropriate areas? The consequences for others from both these could be dire. Is dishing out tickets for not wearing a lifejacket really going to work? Walking across a busy street is my choice and going to sea on any given day is my choice, as is the wearing of a lifejacket. I would suggest swimming in a crowded bay is more hazardous than going for a row in a dinghy without a lifejacket. Nigel Lancaster, Thames GREAT MAGAZINE – I especially enjoyed the man overboard article. Did he have a lifejacket on? Bet if he didn’t, he wished he had. More importantly, I am sure that the lady rescuing him wished he had. She did an excellent job of not losing sight of him. How much easier to see him in a jacket. I think there are already maritime rules on wearing a jacket so why is Auckland Council passing a by-law? I don’t really think that wearing a jacket will make the next generation misjudge the risks. As a country we have one of the highest, if not the highest, drowning records, due to misjudging the risks. [This is not correct – Editor.] Everyone on our boat wears a jacket when under way and I don’t even notice mine being on. We once struck 60-knot winds, more than three-metre seas and three willi-willis in a row when the water whirled in the wind like big round bales of hay. We were in a Noelex 22 and had the windows under a couple of times. I just remembered that rough seas and bad weather conditions might be one of the rules. I don’t think people with their heads screwed on need the council to tell them to put a lifejacket on. A child in and around water and boats without one is a disaster waiting to happen. For those who are not convinced a jacket is a good idea, try tying a rope around your waist and jumping in with all your clothes on and see how long you can stay up in the water. Which proves your point that the most important piece of safety equipment is ourselves. It would be great if more boaties would do a Boat Masters Course, or at least a Day Skipper one. Bit scary out there on a starboard tack when you don’t know if the boatie on the port tack knows who gives way. Jenny McPhee Do you need windows and doors for your boat? There’s no safer place to put your money in today’s economic climate than a quality boat. It’ll be worth more when the storm passes and you get to enjoy it in the meantime. Support the NZ Boat Building Industry. 11 Finlayson St. Whangarei. Ph 09 438 6884 Fax 09 438 6852 email firstname.lastname@example.org www.seamac.co.nz 0414-39 • Bulk Head Water tight & Engine Room doors • Windscreens • Windows • Doors For all enquiries, or your nearest retailer – Phone 0274 955 044 New models & size range available, visit: www.icey-teknz.co.nz AS USED BY NZ FISHING NEWS, MATT WATSON, ITM FISHING SHOW, CAPTAIN BUCKO, BOATING NEW ZEALAND AND GONE FISHIN’ • Corporate colours and signwriting available • Thermoplastic latches • Rope handle (long boxes only) • From 25 to 1100 Litre REGULAR_Readers letters_April14.indd 7 19/03/2014 3:15:06 p.m.
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