Stay safe on the water these holidays

  • Craig Foss

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss is urging Kiwis to stay safe on the water this festive season.

“Heading to the beach, river or lake is all part of a Kiwi summer and great fun for the whole family, but it’s important to remember that keeping yourself and your loved ones safe requires a little preparation,” Mr Foss says.

Skippers, every time you take a boat out:

  • Check you have the correct number of properly fitting lifejackets
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back
  • Avoid alcohol before and while on the water
  • Carry two forms of communication

“So far this year, 23 people have died in recreational boating accidents, including eight in kayaks or canoes,” Mr Foss says.

“Kiwis love kayaks and canoes — we have more than 300,000 of them — but they’re not just toys. I urge all parents, families and paddlers to take sensible precautions, just as you would with other boats.

“That includes wearing a lifejacket. Inexpensive lifejackets, designed specifically for use in kayaks and canoes, allow easy movement for paddling and still provide good flotation.

“Remember, if in doubt, don’t go out.”

For more information about recreational boating go to