Keeping safe on the water just needs a bit of common sense and planning. The 5 important rules are:
- LIFEJACKETS – take them and wear them. Most people overestimate their in-water survivability without buoyancy
- RESPONSIBILITY – stay within in the limits of your vessel and crew. The Skipper of the vessel is responsible for the safety of everyone on board.
- COMMS – Two means of communication, usually VHF and mobile phone, to call for help if necessary.
- WEATHER – Check the weather forecast before you go and be aware that conditions can change quickly. Assess conditions before you launch or leave sheltered waters.
- AVOID ALCOHOL – Drinking alcohol decreases your ability to react and make good decisions on the water.
Boating around Raglan requires some additional considerations and caution:
- The Raglan bar is dangerous and has killed many people. Make sure you know how to safely navigate through it. Attend Raglan Bar Day.
- Strong tidal currents can quickly carry you into trouble if your engine should fail. Carry a good reliable anchor.
- Close to the shore, unexpected sets of waves can suddenly put you inside the surf zone with risk of capsize.
- Sea state can deteriorate quickly with the Raglan Bar potentially becoming unsafe to re-enter – do not head out of the Raglan harbour in worsening conditions.
- Be aware that there are some communication black spots, in particular close to the shore south of Raglan.