Out on the water this summer? Get home safe to your friends and whānau

Summer is here, with hundreds of thousands of Kiwis excited to get out on the water and enjoy the holidays. However, before you push off from the boat ramp, boaties need to have safety in mind. Over January and February this year, Coastguard responded to over 900 incidents across the country, helping more than 1,000 people home to safety. 

This summer, Coastguard is calling for everyone to get home safe to your family, whānau, or whatever you call the most important people in your life.

Coastguard Head of Operations Rob McCaw reminded boaties that the decisions you make both before and during your trip can have a massive impact on your family back home. 

“You might have all your equipment to go fishing, sailing, scuba diving or jet skiing, but do you have everything to ensure you get home safe to your family? 

“To all of the Skippers out there, you have responsibility for everyone's safety on board. This means having correctly fitting lifejackets for everyone on board, take them and wear them - they've never ruined a day out on the water. Carry two forms of waterproof communication and keeping an eye on your local marine weather before heading out is key. You should also log your trip so we know where you are going and when you plan to be back.” 

You can easily log a trip via the free Coastguard app, along with live weather updates, five-day forecasts for wind, weather, swell and tides as well as saving your favourite spots for quick access next time. Download it here. 

For on-water assistance this summer boaties can call *500 free from your mobile phone or use your local Coastguard VHF channel. For marine emergencies please call 111 or VHF Channel 16.

Coastguard’s top safety tips to get home this summer 

  • Lifejackets– Take them – wear them. A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water. Time and time again we see the victims of boating tragedies are typically those who do not wear life jackets, it is hands down the single most common denominator we observe and it is one of the easiest things for people to do.
  • Tell us your plan – Carry two forms of water-proof communication (a phone and a charged and working VHF radio), then when you head out - log a trip report with your VHF, *500 on your mobile or on the Coastguard App. When crossing a bar, always log a report with your VHF or by *500 on your mobile. 
  • Skippers' responsibility Every skipper has a legal and moral responsibility for everyone on board. Bring your family and friends home safe.
  • Check the weather and conditions – It’s vital to check the weather before going boating. Keep a keen eye on marine conditions as they can change quickly. If in doubt, don’t go out. You can check the weather and more specific weather conditions at your favourite fishing spot on the free Coastguard App.
  • For Coastguard’s full preparation checklist, including how-to videos, go to boatiesbestmate.nz.



For more information, contact: 
Ben Parsons 
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor 
[email protected]

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