New Zealand's Coastguard Boating Education (CBE) hosted IMRF Board members during their visit to the country in March.

IMRF CEO Bruce Reid commended CBE on the great work they are doing, noting that the Board were particularly impressed by the award-winning Safe Boating Programme which CBE has developed for 10-12 year-old children.

The main reason for the success of this programme is the link developed between CBE and community aquatic centres as the hub for water safety educational activities to provide young people with the skills they might need to survive in a dangerous situation.

The innovative programme covers skipper responsibility and what safety equipment should be carried on board a vessel, highlighting the importance of lifejackets, marine VHF radio and distress signalling devices in addition to how to perform a safety briefing for the crew.

The practical session includes deep-water boat drills and lifejacket buoyancy, plus survival positions should the student ever find themselves in difficulty.

CBE – an accredited Private Training Establishment whose objective is to increase safety and enjoyment on the water through a range of theory and practical boating courses – have issued over 21,750 certificates since the programme was first launched in early 2013, in addition to providing professional boating safety training to the aquatic centre swim instructors.

CBE General Manager Neil Murray says that "with over 10,000 responsible boaties attending a course in 2013, the public have clearly embraced the variety of course options, from the popular Day Skipper, Boat-master and VHF courses through to the Ocean Yachtmaster and practical RYA (Royal Yachting Association) courses.

For more information on CBE's courses and safety programmes see Ann Laing, the IMRF's own Education Project manager, says: "This is a fantastic programme, and a great example of the sort of material the IMRF project is gathering together for all Members' benefit."