Boaties urged to check conditions

File Photo.

Boaties are being urged to check the weather conditions after two boats capsized on the Kaituna Bar.

On Friday morning, a small boat with two people on board capsized on the bar.

As the Maketu Coastguard were returning from that rescue, they were sent to Pukehina where four people on a small boat were reportedly in distress.

In a third callout on Saturday morning, around 8am, another boat capsized on the Kaituna Bar with three people on board.

Fortunately, no one in any of the incidents was injured.

Maketu Coastguard advises that the Kaituna boat ramp is currently out of commission, and boats are launching from the Bell Road boat ramp, where the bar is not visible.

“It is not until boaties get to the bar until they realise conditions are not favourable.”

The bar crossing can be treacherous three hours either side of low tide, and both yesterday's and today's incidents of capsized boats happened within this time frame.

Police and Coastguard are urging boaties to check the weather and tides before launching.

“Every person on boat should be wearing a life jacket before crossing a bar, and best practice would be to contact the local Coastguard before and after you cross a bar,” says a police spokesperson.

“Ensure that if you are carrying a cellphone as one of your means of communication, it is in a snap-lock bag to keep it dry.”


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