"MISSING After Boat Swamps", "Man lost in Cook Strait", "Police launch saves yacht", "Six good children die and a city cries", "You are saved after 11 hours in the water without a life jacket" Drowning on holiday "Tolls are 14. "
These and other headlines appeared in the newspapers in Auckland, New Zealand, between mid-December 1975 and mid-January 1976. All concerned individual tragedies involving people using the North Sea's seas and waterways. from New Zealand for recreation.
Relationships like the one mentioned above are unfortunately repeated all over the world where man opposes his knowledge of the sea or the lack of it, both for pleasure and for profit.
As boating has peaked in recent years and attracted many beginners, it must be ensured that even boats inspected by the most respected authorities and manned by qualified professional sailors continue to be overwhelmed by storms and other dangers, many of which sometimes lead to death.
Cities in ports, rivers and lakes
Almost all major population concentrations are found in ports, rivers or lakes. One such city is Auckland, with a population of almost 800,000. It stretches across an isthmus between two major ports, to the west, from where you can access the Tasman Sea and east with the Pacific Ocean. On these two waterways alone, there is a total coastline of about 610 kilometers, while other sheltered ports, rivers and islands and coves are easily accessible by small boats. Such an environment and temperate climate make this city in the South Pacific a place of great activity.
Not only in this region but throughout New Zealand, with its extensive coastline and several rivers and lakes, the number of drownings continues to increase. In 1975, no less than 130 people died that way. The Water Safety Council has asked people to be more careful with their water this year; and New Zealand Volunteer Coast Guard recommended that "a healthy state of anxiety is probably the most important thing to take with you in a small boat."
"Common sailor" or common sense
According to international agreements, the maritime nations follow and follow "International regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea", which contain lights and shapes that ships must carry, as well as "rules for steering and navigation" and emergency signals. . Given that the first paragraph of the Regulation stipulates that they must be followed by all vessels on the high seas and associated waters, anyone wishing to transport all types of offshore vehicles must know at least its contents. But the most important rule is without a doubt rule 2, which states: “Nothing in these rules is intended to exempt a boat, or its owner, captain or crew, from the consequences of non-compliance with these rules. or neglect of any action. maritime practice or may be required by the specific circumstances of each case. "
The general words that define "common use of sailors" are common sense, no more, no less. Non-exceptions can, as they say, mean the revocation of the license or certificate, or even a fine or imprisonment. Some local authorities impose fines and penalties on recreational boat owners for violating laws and regulations. But what about the shipowner who causes death by ignoring "ordinary shipping work" and neglecting or neglecting common sense? Of course, his conscience would never clear it, even if the law did.
Ten basic rules
New Zealand's Ahoy Skipper brochure lists ten golden rules for safe boating. These are (1) monitor the weather, (2) do not overload, (3) make sure you have the necessary equipment, including life jackets, (4) keep the engine 100% reliable, (5) know the accident rules and laws, (6) keep open your eyes, (7) know the distress signals, (8) protect yourself from fire, (9) do not mix alcohol or casserole, (10) inform one before leaving the person on the ground about your intentions.
But no matter how you go about it, when you start your first trip or your hundred-year-old trip, don't treat the experience lightly or like you're in the same category as a road trip. For those who take even a short excursion on the water, there are big differences.
The flows do not always remain fluid. You may not be able to stop and ask for information. If the engine fails, you cannot stand on your shoulder and wait for help. The types of vessels that use the waterways can vary in size from a few meters to over 300 meters. These boats have difficulty fishing, dredging, or navigating narrow waters. They can be pulled, anchored or anchored. You can be "out of control" or navigate with or without electricity. They may cross or cross your path, or they are on a collision course or approaching you. You should be able to identify them by their nightlight and their characteristics during the day. You should know enough about the “rules of the road” to know what to do to avoid a collision: what your rights, duties and obligations under international and local law are common sense and general road practice. nautical.
You can't expect to absorb the sea lanes of generations of ships in ten easy lessons. There are things that only experience will give you; You will find that there is always the threat of unpredictable and unexpected disaster. And one man may face a sudden emergency in an unfamiliar setting, while another, even a seasoned man, may "fall apart". So don't try small water activities for fun unless you are sure you can handle any emergencies that might arise.
These small speedboats are of particular concern to authorities in New Zealand and elsewhere. Relatively easy to buy, they are pulled by a towing ramp and retrieved the same way. Under ideal circumstances, a boy or girl can pull, open the throttle, and travel at a speed of 20 knots or more. Obviously, these boats are too deadly in the hands of inexperienced or foolish people or too young to see impressive work in tight or cramped spaces. The law says it is illegal for children under 15 to operate a boat that can exceed ten knots. They must not exceed five knots if they are less than 180 meters from the coast or if they are within 30 meters of other boats or boats swimming or fishing. When towing water skiers, boats may only approach or leave the beach on properly marked slopes and must always have at least one person on board in addition to the driver.
Minimum security requirements
In all waters in which a boat is used, the prudent operator ensures that his boat is fit for the use for which it is intended and that it meets at least minimum safety requirements. All boats must have at least one secondary method of propulsion eg. B. a spare rudder set or spare motor or sail (outboard). You must have the means to deal with fire and a tool like a bucket or a bomb. There should be enough buoyancy material, such as B. Cushions filled with Ceiba to provide buoyancy for the number of people on the boat and a rope anchor, or enough "curvature" to keep the boat in place. at least moderate conditions.
All ships capable of long cruises with a view of the night passage must have a reliable compass and the manager must know how to navigate with it and have a basic balance in determining a location on a map. Obviously, these boats must have standard navigation lights. All boat owners should have a copy of the latest nautical chart covering their area for the intended operation, or at least be familiar with remote schools and schools, as well as the flow and range of the tides. They need to know where the deep water canals used by non-small boats are located and what their obligations are so as not to obstruct these waterways and the large boats that use them.
Gain experience and confidence
If you've never sailed or sailed before, do not go out in style and take your family on a journey of up to 60 km across Auckland's Hauraki Gulf to the Great Barrier Reef. Feel content to do small coastal runs of about a mile during a season as you expand your knowledge by observing and talking to others and gaining experience and confidence in different circumstances and conditions. It is best to start with a small, low engine or a sailboat with obvious limitations so that you are not tempted to exceed your abilities. It goes without saying that if you have a lifetime experience, you should buy a new boat to limit the length of your stay to any "shortcomings", if any. they have been eliminated and he has become familiar with the characteristics and behavior of the ship.
You may be able to recite all the publications that have ever been written about small boat and boat safety, but you have not benefited from it if you do not use common sense and caution. Make this the guiding principle in every step you take, in every journey you consider, as the seas are violent and unforgivable to those who treat them lightly or who do not show the right fear and respect.