Safe Boating

Kaikoura Rescue Slim Line 500W

Before you go boating on our seas, lakes and rivers follow these tips to help you stay safe.


The Boating Safety Code serves as a quick reminder of the key points. Click on the links below for more detailed information.

  • Checklist of Essential Equipment - Before you head out on the water, make sure you've got all the right gear, by checking out this list of essential equipment
  • Life Jackets - Safe enjoyable boating means taking and wearing your lifejackets as the unexpected can happen so quickly.
  • Check your batteries and get your engine serviced - Time spent now could save you headaches later. A few quick checks and some basic maintenance, such as replacing old fuel, can make all the difference to the outcome on the water.
  • Skipper Responsibility - Every skipper has both a legal and moral responsibility for everyone aboard.
  • Communications:
    • Key things to do to stay in touch and call for help if you need it - including major changes to VHF channels on 1 October 2016
    • Get a VHF Callsign and check your details are correct - A VHF Callsign is a unique identifier that holds key information about your vessel and emergency contact. It’s used in an emergency and also with Coastguard Radio when logging a Trip Report or Bar Crossing. Obtain a VHF Callsign or check and update your details.
    • Log a Trip Report or make a Bar Crossing Report - Getting in touch with Coastguard Radio when you hit the water and again when you’re back at base is a great way to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back. That information, along with the number of people on-board, means that in the event we need to search for you, the search area is dramatically reduced and we can find you that bit quicker.
  • Marine Weather - including major changes to Nowcasting channels on 1 October 2016
  • Alcohol & Boating - Things can change quickly on the water. You need to stay alert and aware.
  • Bar crossing safety - advice and videos on crossing a bar safely
  • Other Safety Information - All boats should carry a minimum amount of appropriate safety equipment.
  • In An Emergency

 Safety Code Button

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Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity