10 Jan 2011

Call for recreational boaties to be licensed

8:13 am on 10 January 2011

A Coromandel harbourmaster says tougher regulations are needed to help curb crashes involving recreational watercraft.

An 11-year-old boy was seriously injured near Pauanui on Friday night when the boat he was piloting collided with another boat driven by a 16-year-old.

A day later, two jetskis collided in one of the Rotorua lakes, leaving a teenager missing, presumed dead.

Tairua/Pauanui harbourmaster Wayne Price says it is time those who operate recreational boats are licensed.

He says there is a lot of support among his fellow harbourmasters for licenses to be introduced, as accidents could be avoided if skippers were more skilled.

But Maritime New Zealand says evidence suggests regulation in other countries has done nothing to lower accident rates.