No Excuses!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

This summer every water user is being urged to not fall back on excuses, know how to keep themselves safe and know the rules.

We want every SLSNZ member to know that again this year Maritime NZ and local harbourmasters will be holding a series of ‘No Excuses’ days across the summer, starting at Labour Weekend, and they will be handing out infringement notices for anyone on the water not following the local bylaws.

In particular for the carriage and wearing of lifejackets on craft under 6 metres – which includes canoes, surf boats, surf skis and paddle boards if outside of the surf zone.

Fines up to $300 can be issued for not following these rules.

In terms of boaties, you can help by modelling good safety behaviour around the water and talking with boaties about it - encouraging them where they’ve got it right, and supporting those who need more guidance. 

Maritime NZ deputy director Sharyn Forsyth said SLSNZ is an important part of the safer boating group and they “support the great work surf life savers do,”

“You are an important part of the safer boating community. As well as the work you do helping boaties in trouble near the coast, you can also help by spreading the word: ‘Wear your lifejacket’ and ‘take two waterproof ways to call for help’ are the key messages to help keep boaties safer.”

“Above all, keep up the great work you do helping keep us safer on the water,” she added.

So this is a reminder that there are no blanket exemptions for surf life guards for these rules.  Please remember this as each year we have tickets being issued and people being surprised the rules apply to them.

The only exemptions are where clubs have formally sought Harbourmaster dispensation for organised training events/ competitions and demonstrated that safety processes are in place (e.g. safety IRB’s).


  • Don’t paddle alone.
  • Always wear a lifejacket/PFD, but don’t assume this alone will save you.
  • Wear clothing in anticipation of being in the water for an extended period.
  • Make sure your two forms of communication are attached to your body, not your craft.  Don’t rely on bystanders to raise the alarm.
  • Make sure you are leashed to your craft.
  • Make sure you are capable of remounting in all conditions.
  • Call for rescue early!

If you have members or friends (even yourself) going out on their own or in small groups training, this is particularly relevant.

For more information, please contact:

Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157