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Non-essential marine use “unacceptable” – harbourmasters

27 Mar 2020  By Staff Reporter | | @tourismticker

Harbourmasters across the country are urging marine users to stay off the water during the four-week long Covid-19 lockdown.

A statement from Auckland harbourmaster, Andrew Hayton, via Auckland Transport said that all “non-essential boating must stop,” adding that activities that put people at risk are “completely unacceptable”.

Hayton said if people needed rescue services, this would take up precious resources during the nationwide lockdown. It would also place coastguard volunteers at risk. Getting provisions and fuel could also create opportunities to transmit the virus.

He said: “Anchored boats must remain where they are – so long as it is safe to do so. Where you are now is where you need to stay for the next month. This is a national emergency and we all want to save lives, not endanger them.”

He added that boaties who were presently living on a boat should follow the same lockdown rules as those living ashore.

A similar message was issued by Queenstown Lakes District Council Harbourmaster, Marty Black, who said he had seen people on the water despite all non-essential travel being banned.

“The Government’s alert level 4 restrictions mean people must stay home,” Black said.

“Lakes and rivers are shut off for public use. Tempting as it may be, people simply cannot take to the water at this time.

“To see people do so is very disappointing and dangerous for those around them. It also an unnecessary risk that, should any issues arise, puts a demand on emergency response staff and pressure on medical facilities.”

Alert level 4 came into effect at 11:59pm Wednesday.

All non-essential businesses have been closed and only essential travel is allowed.


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