No excuses over boat safety

Tauranga Volunteer Coastguard is opening a summer membership campaign with the aid of a dedicated membership line to make joining quick and easy, with no form filling required.  

“We all get sick of filling out forms, so we thought ‘how can we improve our service to make the process straightforward?’” says Tauranga Coastguard unit manager Steve Russell.

“Now it’s as quick as a call, and “021 HELP US” (021 435 787) was developed with the help of Vodafone’s support.

 “It’s easy. Phone the number and we’ll do your membership over the phone or even text and leave your name and number and we’ll call you back. If we miss your call, leave a message with your name and number and we’ll call you back as soon as possible.”

There are no excuses, says Steve, and membership is the cheapest insurance policy on the market.

“There are approximately 10,000 boats in our area and the Coastguard membership has only a quarter of these numbers as members,” says Steve.

He’s astounded that so many boaties - even jet skiers and kayakers - are not members.

“I’m sure existing members think information about safety is like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. They’re right, but for many boaties there are so many excuses, such as ‘I haven’t had the time to get it organised’ or the old kiwi saying ‘she’ll be right mate’.  

“There are no excuses when it comes to safety and skippers/owners need to take responsibility. Do the combination of five key safety elements and you will be nautical miles ahead of the safety boat race. “No excuses. Get organised and enjoy the summer knowing you’re looking after yourself and all those on board.”

For as little as the cost of a tank of gas, Coastguard membership opens access to educational material and courses that help towards being a better boatie.

“And if you need us, we will be there,” says Steve.

To complete the membership over the phone all you need is your personal and boating information, plus access to a credit card. Other payment options are available.

“By the amount of trip report and calls coming into our radio room, we can see that the weather is improving and the boating season is upon us.”

The safety message is straightforward. It’s about the Combination of Safety, which has five key elements:

1.    Wear lifejackets.

2.    Fill up on fuel (and have a reserve).

3.    Check communication devices (and have more than one).

4.    Let your family know your plan and put in a trip report with Coastguard radio.

5.    Join the local Coastguard.

Tauranga Volunteer Coastguard is not Government funded and is dedicated to preventing boaties getting into trouble in the first place, and assisting them if they do.


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