There is concern the safety of water users in Hawke's Bay is being put at risk by a few people flouting the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Navigation Safety Bylaws.
The bylaws were reviewed and subsequently changed last year and HBRC Harbourmaster Captain Phil Norman says while the majority of people are staying within the law, there are a still too many people breaking the rules and putting others at risk.
He says a recent incident where a jet skier blatantly flouted the law highlights the fact that some people don't understand the importance of the bylaws to keep everyone safe.
"A jet skier was recently photographed by a member of the public on Pandora Pond. The jet skier broke so many rules - firstly powered vessels are prohibited on Pandora Pond, he wasn't wearing a life jacket, had no ID on his jet ski and broke the five knot speed limit," says Captain Norman.
Unfortunately Hawke's Bay Regional Council has not been able to identify the jet skier.
He says this type of behaviour puts everyone enjoying the water safely at risk.
"With our new infringement fees people like this who blatantly flout the bylaws will be issued infringement notices and could face fines of up to $800
Main Navigational Bylaw Changes
Persons going out on the water in a vessel six metres or less and all paddle craft are required to wear a life jacket, including canoes, kayaks and waka ama.
All paddle craft must now use by day high visibility equipment and, by night, an all-round fixed or flashing white light to ensure they can be easily seen.
All vessels must be marked with a name or similar identifying marks on each side of the vessel.
Battery Road Beach alongside the Port is now reserved for swimmers only, with motorised vessels no longer permitted to enter the area between the buoys and the shore.
A similar swimming area has been created on the Porangahau River by the Beach Road Bridge and on Te Paerahi Beach in Porangahau where a designated swimming/surfing area has been created and vessels are not allowed to launch, retrieve or navigate through this area.
Additional five knot speed buoys have been installed along Hardinge Road and at the entrance to the Inner Harbour and these areas in particular will be monitored for compliance with the five knot bylaw.
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