To launch the annual Safer Boating Week, The Safer Boating Forum will be giving away free waterproof cell phone bags including a new safer boating mini-guide. The second annual Safer Boating Week is the week before Labour Day weekend, the traditional start of the recreational boating season. Starting from 16th to 23rd October, Safer Boating week this year will focus on checking your gear before heading out.
Aiming to drive home the message to boaties to take reliable communications when out on the water, "Bag Your Cell" and "It won't work wet" are some of the key messages behind 10,000 waterproof cell phone bags being given out to boaties this summer. Hundreds of these bags will be handed out initially to boaties heading out over Labour Weekend at boat ramps, and new skippers taking Coastguard Boating Education courses will receive one throughout summer. Although a good start to addressing the issue of having reliable communications on the water, cell phones won't work at the bottom of the ocean either! Regardless of how water tight the cell phone is in its waterproof bag, it won't be of any use to anyone when dropped into the water.
Cell phones should only be used as a secondary backup form of communication and should not be solely relied upon. Phones will encounter water at some stage, if not completely get lost overboard. Unfortunately they have yet to come up with a waterproof cell phone that floats. Cell phones are definitely no substitute for a handheld VHF radio.
Accidents on the water average around 20 a year in New Zealand. All Icom marine VHF handheld radios float and some even flash when in contact with water for easier visibility and retrieval. Most importantly, they are all able to access Channel 16. (NZ Coastguard distress channel) so help is literally a push of the button away.
Many boaties have a fixed VHF radio mounted on their dashboards. However, if the radio or battery is swamped with a large amount of water, it stops working instantly. Icom's IC-M304 VHF Marine Transceiver combats this issue by being IP67 rated which means it can withstand the submersion of up to one metre depth of water for half an hour. The IC-M304 has the new Force5Audio speaker that delivers impressive audio output with powerful bass. Like the IC-M23, it has AquaQuake to eject excess water from the speaker grill. With proven durability and reliability, the IC-M304 is submersible, has a compact body, large LCD and powerful audio, the IC-M304 is the ideal dashboard mount radio.
Staple items on the water as mobile phones are on land be sure to make Icom's award winning radios your next purchase this boating season. Contact Icom NZ directly on 0800 744 062 for your nearest dealer or browse Icom's full range of marine radios on www.icom.co.nz to make sure you have an Icom radio with you the next time you go out on the water.
For more information on this year's Safer Boating Week please visit www.saferboating.org.nz.