Coastguard New Zealand is encouraging boat owners to undertake safety checks of their vessels before heading out onto the water for the first time in seven weeks.
The Government announced last month that under Level 3, Aucklanders could go out on a boat with members of their household.
The latest guidelines ask recreational boaties not to stay on their boats overnight. They also warn that the regional boundary is still in place – even at sea.
Kawau Coastguard crewman Paul Steinkamp is expecting increased numbers of boats on the water in Mahurangi as Aucklanders make the most of improving weather and relaxing restrictions.
He says Coastguard was called out to assist a vessel that had gone out fishing on the Hauraki Gulf at midnight last Tuesday, just as the new rules came into force.
Later that day, the Kawau unit was called to help a boat that experienced mechanical difficulties and was near Ti Point. It was towed back to Leigh.
Paul is asking boat owners to check that their batteries have charge and that the terminals are not loose. He says it is also important to check fuel levels with a dipstick or by picking up the can, rather than relying on a fuel gauge.
Meanwhile, the Department of Conservation is reminding recreational boaties that Hauraki Gulf islands are still closed as resident rangers are still in lockdown.
DOC operations manager Kat Lane warns that fishing in marine reserves is still being policed during lockdown.
DOC received reports on the very first day of Level 3, stage 1, of people fishing by boat in the Long Bay Marine Reserve.
Fill your fuel tanks with fresh fuel and check hose connections.
Charge batteries and clean terminals.
Turn your motor over and check that there are no blockages.
Check the weather and ensure you have lifejackets.
Have two forms of communication – mobile phone and VHF radio.
Be kind at the boat ramp – “everyone is likely to be a little rusty at reversing”.
Coastguard membership is $114. Visit https://membership.boatiesbestmate.nz/