Polynesians are taking safety boating courses that aim at reducing the number of people dying at sea, reported ONE News.
“We initially started off with 12 people, the average class is now 20 and there’s quite a few people wanting to go on the courses now,” said Chris Laufale, tutor of the course.
Laufale teaches the safety courses in south Auckland, covering weather conditions, communication equipment and the importance of life jackets.
During the past summer, two Pacific Islanders died and three others were rescued on Auckland’s waterfront after their overloaded boat capsized. None were wearing life jackets.
“A lot of Pacific islanders think that because the water’s the same color as it is in the islands they think it’s literally the same – it’s not,” said Llaufale.
The courses are offered in Tongan and may be extended outside Auckland to Wellington and the large Pacific island community in Porirua. Water Safety New Zealand is backing the courses.
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