Maritime NZ is linking up with Whangarei Sea Cadets to carry out boat ramp surveys of recreational boaties around Northland in February and March.
It is the first time sea cadets have been involved in Maritime NZ’s regular boat ramp surveys and Maritime NZ Assistant Regional Compliance Manager, Northern, Damian Poi, said it would act as a pilot programme to assess whether the approach could be used in other parts of the country.
The TS Diomede unit sea cadets will be in action at the Waitangi boat ramp on Saturday 7 February, surveying water users on their water activities, how often they take to the water and in what sort of vessels, their safety equipment, and views on its use.
Further surveys will be take place at Onerahi on 28 February, Tutukaka on 7 March, Parua Bay on 21 March, and One Tree Point on 28 March.
“The boat ramp surveys enable us to evaluate boating practices in various parts of the country, and target resources and education where they are most needed,” Mr Poi said. “Working with the sea cadets means we have extra capacity to get out and talk to ramp users and they have been very enthusiastic about being involved.
“The surveys are certainly not about catching people out – the focus is on getting information and providing advice. The cadets will have safe boating material available and Maritime NZ staff will also be on hand to answer questions.”
Cadet unit commander of the TS Diomede unit Sub Lieutenant David Gilbert said the surveys would also benefit the sea cadets.
“We are very pleased to be working on this project. We are the northernmost sea cadet unit in the country, and quite a small group, so it is great to get to the opportunity to lead the way working with a national organisation like Maritime NZ,” he said.
“Promoting safety on the water is a big focus for the Sea Cadet corps and the boat ramp surveys are all about promoting water safety. Many of the cadets are working towards seamanship badges and being involved in the boat ramp surveys will enable them to demonstrate some of the requirements for the badge.”