Heading outdoors this Easter? Have a plan before heading out

01 April 2021

With many Kiwis expected to make the most of the Easter break, Maritime NZ is urging those heading outdoors or on the water to take safety seriously.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ Manager, Paul Craven, says the best advice is to plan ahead.

“Your safety depends on good preparation and your ability to look after yourself. Have the right knowledge, experience and equipment.

“Carry appropriate emergency communications equipment – it could save your life. If you can’t contact anyone, no one will know that you need to be rescued. Carry at least two types of communications that will work when wet, such as a distress beacon, VHF radio, cell phone in a plastic bag or red hand-held flares.”

“We know that distress beacons save lives,” says Craven.

“They take the search out of search and rescue and mean that help can reach you faster. Registering your beacon online is free and only takes a couple of minutes. Having a registered beacon means a quicker, more targeted response can be launched if you do get into trouble.”

“We may also be able to find out exactly who is with you, how long you have been gone, and what your plans were. That means rescuers will then be in the best position to help you when you are located.”

Before you head out:

  • Leave your trip details with a responsible person – including where you are going and when you intend to be back
  • Remember that while cell phones are valuable, they can’t be relied upon – they may be out of range, have low battery or become water damaged
  • Check the weather forecast – if in doubt, don’t go out

Notes to editors:

  • In water, the body loses heat 20 to 30 times faster than it does in air.
  • Boaties should guard against hypothermia by wearing several layers of clothing.
  • For tips on how to survive in cold water, go to maritime.govt.nz
  • For more information on the Boating Safety Code, go to saferboating.org.nz
  • For more information on the Land Safety Code, go to adventuresmart.nz
  • For more information on distress beacons, or to register a beacon today, go to beacons.org.nz
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