Warning to boaties over 'complacency'

Boaties heading to Haast have been issued with a warning to be better prepared before going out on the ocean, after two incidents this week where ''complacency'' got the better of people.

Senior Constable Robin Manera, of Haast, said in the past fortnight good weather conditions had resulted in an influx of people - mainly from Central Otago - into the Haast area for recreational boating. However, an alarmingly large number of them were arriving unprepared and not following the basic requirements of safe ship management.

''Conditions are really good; they couldn't be better - it's been like a lake out there,'' Snr Const Manera said.

''But there's been a lot of people come over and, just with the law of averages, some day someone will go out there unprepared like that and things will go wrong.''

On Monday afternoon, one group had to radio for help after their boat's engine broke down near the Open Bay Islands. With no back-up motor on board, they had to be towed back to shore.

Within hours, a second group got into difficulty out on the water between Jackson Bay and Cascade Point after their boat ran out of fuel. They were rescued after a friend delivered fuel to them. Snr Const Manera understood both boating groups were from Central Otago.

''Have a back-up motor, make sure there's plenty of fuel, make sure your radio's working ... it's just a reminder to sharpen up before there's a mistake.''