Nelson Harbourmaster Dave Duncan with Kite Surf Nelson barista Sarah Welford, deputy harbourmaster Josh Hanrahan and some of the free coffee they’re giving away. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Funding, fuel and coffee for boating safety

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Free coffee and discounted fuel will be added incentives for boaties and stand-up paddle boarders to make sure they are safe on the water this summer.

Nelson city and Tasman district council harbourmasters have received $30,000 from Maritime New Zealand for the next three years, and have teamed up with NPD to promote a boating safety programme, Fuel for Safety.

The campaign is aimed at running a series of safety promotions on boat ramps around the region and will start at Labour Weekend.

Nelson City Council deputy harbourmaster Josh Hanrahan says Fuel for Safety focuses on education at boat ramps where they will be running through a check list of safety equipment that needs to be on the boats.

Recreational boaties with the right safety equipment onboard will receive an NPD voucher for discounted fuel, as well as giveaways.

Josh says they ran Fuel for Safety at the Akersten St boat ramp for the first time last year and it proved successful.

He says, this year Coastguard Nelson volunteers will be helping out at the weekends to “add some real weight” to the campaign.

“We spoke to people aboard 250 boats as part of last year’s campaign and it went very well,” Josh says.

Josh says they will also be repeating a water safety campaign for paddle craft to cater for the “huge upsurge” in numbers of stand-up paddle boarders.

Stand-up paddlers will be offered a free coffee voucher sponsored by Kitesurf Nelson’s cafe as a reward for wearing life jackets and leg-leashes.

Tasman and Nelson harbourmasters have additional funding from Maritime New Zealand to participate in their nationwide enforcement campaign No Excuses.

The programme requires councils to conduct on-water enforcement for up to five days, where a “no excuses” approach will be taken to breaches of key safety regulations including wearing and carriage of lifejackets and boat speed.

The boating safety campaign will be launched nationwide during Safer Boating Week from October 14 to 21.