Hutt City Council and East by West Ferries call for caution to Days Bay Wharf jumpers

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Published: 25 November 2022

Hutt City Council and East by West Ferries are increasingly concerned about dangerous behaviour where the ferry docks on the northern side of Days Bay Wharf.

Ferry crews have reported children and young people jumping into the direct line of the ferry at the wharf, and crews are extremely worried about the risk of injury or death.

As wharf owner, the Council has urgently ordered new warning signs to replace previously vandalised signage and is rolling out an education campaign for the summer.

Chief Executive Jo Miller is keen to get the word out about having fun at the wharf this summer without risking severe injury or worse.

"We have a beautiful harbour and access to it is really important to our community. At this time of year we would like everyone who lives and visits the Eastern Bays to enjoy Days Bay wharf responsibly," says Jo Miller

Jo emailed schools this week asking them to share the message with their communities to only jump and swim on the southern side of the wharf where there is a jumping platform.

"Swimming and jumping on the ferry docking side of the wharf is prohibited and extremely dangerous," says Jo.

"The ferry propellers could cause significant injury with lifelong consequences or fatality. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the water from the other side of the wharf, so I encourage parents to speak to your children and teenagers about staying safe."

Mat Jonsson, General Manager of East By West, said ferries need to move both forwards and backwards at the wharf to be able to hold alongside and depart safely.

"The potential consequence of an injury from a boat propeller is catastrophic, with many reports of deaths worldwide - even seals, dolphins and orca aren't good enough swimmers to avoid propeller strike and a potentially fatal outcome. Such a tragedy would deeply affect families and communities, as well as the mental health and livelihood of our team."

Mayor Campbell Barry has joined some keen wharf jumpers to record a video at the wharf. View the video here

For more information contact:

Communications Team, Hutt City Council