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Paddleboarders and kayakers in US and NZ urged to carry flares

LIfejacket paddleboard

Officials in both the United States and New Zealand have urged paddleboaters and kayakers to carry flares.

In Washington state, boating law administrator Rob Sendak, says paddleboaters, kayakers and canoers should carry the same safety equipment as larger boats.

“Stand-up paddleboarders need to know that as soon as their board leaves a designated swim area or goes beyond the surf, it is considered a vessel and therefore subject to recreational boating laws,” reports the NewsTribune.

Patrols could issue tickets and fine anyone who had vital safety equipment missing.

Under the law, boats — including stand-up paddleboards — have lifejackets that anyone 12 or younger must wear, and leashes to remain tethered to the paddleboard are recommended.

They must also carry a horn, whistle and bell and a white, all-around navigation light in low visibility.

Those on federal waterways, including the Columbia and Snake rivers, also must carry flares.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, police in Tauranga also urged kayakers to ensure they have adequate safety equipment.

It follows an incident when a kayaker became separated from two others when fishing in Arataki yesterday morning.

The kayaker sent a text to another member of the party, saying he'd become lost, but he capsized and lost his phone, reports the New Zealand Herald.

Fortunately, he was able to right himself and paddle to shore near the Papamoa Domain, where he was found nearly four hours later.

Tauranga Police and Coastguard units from Tauranga and Maketū responded to the incident.

Sergeant Craig Madden of police search and rescue urged those on the water to carry other forms of communication, including flares.

Sep 17, 2019