Focus on Water Safety over Summer

Dec 23, 2013

Harbourmaster Marty Black is anticipating a safe summer on all the lakes and rivers in the Queenstown Lakes District, provided that everyone follows the rules and wears a life jacket in small boats at all times.

He and his team will be patrolling throughout the summer to enforce the QLDC bylaw that everyone in a boat less than 6m in length must wear a life jacket at all times.

“We know that properly fitting life jackets save lives on the water, in the same way that seat belts save lives on the roads,” Mr Black said.

Children need to wear a life jacket that fits them properly. “You can’t put a small child in an adult’s life jacket – they will just slip straight out, and we’ve seen some recent tragedies in other parts of the country where that has happened.”

Anyone borrowing kayaks and dinghies from friends or using gear loaned by their accommodation providers should remember to collect life jackets along with the paddles and oars.

Mr Black also urged parents to be particularly vigilant if small children were playing by rivers.

“My goal is that everyone has a fantastic time in and around the water this summer, and the best way to make that happen is to use common sense, keep an eye on your kids, and always wear lifejackets when you’re out on the water.”