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Southern Spars

Bar Day to prepare boaties for safe crossings

by Don Scandrett on 9 Apr 2010
Trouble on the Evans River bar. NSW Maritime © http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au

Boaties who cross either the Manukau Harbour or Raglan Harbour bars are being invited to attend a Coastguard organized Bar Awareness Day on Sunday April 18.

Coastguard units from Manukau, Waiuku and Raglan will be running the Bar Day to not only help boaties to better understand just how dangerous crossing harbour bars can be but to also highlight how important it is that they prepare whenever they are planning to go out.

Coastguard Northern Region Marketing Manager Don Scandrett says that bars can be particularly dangerous to cross because of the unusually steep seas that form as they can easily capsize boats. Already this year there has been a fatality on the Manukau Harbour.

'Even very experienced boaties have got into trouble while crossing the bar which is why it is important that boaties are well prepared before they go out on the water', says Don.

A key to safely crossing the bar is to get local information as to when and how it is best to cross, which is where Coastguard likes to be involved. Boaties are always encouraged to contact Coastguard before they cross a bar.

Boaties who use the Manukau Harbour are asked to bring their boats down to either the Coastguard base in French Bay, Titirangi or to the Te Toro Boat ramp at Waiuku. The day will start at .00am with a briefing of how to prepare for a bar crossing and what to look for when crossing the bar. Due to a restriction on the numbers at each venue, boaties are asked to preregister.

If weather conditions are suitable, then it is planned that Coastguard Rescue Vessels from both units will accompany the boats out and across the Manukau Bar. There is no charge for boaties to attend the Coastguard Bar Day but as Coastguard is a charity, they are requesting a donation on the day.

For the Raglan event, registrations start at 8.30am at the Raglan Fire Station, with the course running from 9.00am to 1.00pm. A course fee of $20 is payable by cash or cheque. Participants are asked to bring a lifejacket as a boat trip out on the bar is included as part of the day. Numbers on the course will be limited to 50 so participants are asked to pre register by either ringing Coastguard Raglan’s secretary Bridget Green on 07 825 8089 or email raglancoastguard@gmail.com

To register for the Bar Day or to request further information please visit coastguard.org.nz or phone 0508 RESCUE.

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