Welcome to the Muriwai Lifeguard Service space for Powercraft Operations. This page will in time be updated regularly and will hopefully become the ‘go-to’ for questions, information on training and operations and links to SLSNZ resources. 


If there is anything in particular you would like to see added to this space, please let me know. Email:

Muriwai Lifeguard Service – March Powercraft Update


IRB Rollovers

All IRB rollovers (IRB with an engine attached) must be reported to the Powercraft Officer. If we are honest about our IRB rollovers and record them, it is more likely Maritime NZ will believe us if someone gets injured during a rollover event.

IRB / RWC Operations in the surf line

In keeping with out Safety Case agreement with SLSNZ and Maritime NZ, please keep the following in mind when operating an IRB or RWC.

Clause 7.14      Operating a rescue craft in excess of 5 knots to reach a destination as quickly as possible is not a reasonable excuse and may result in prosecution under the Act. Note – To travel quickly to a destination, first proceed 200 metres from shore before exceeding 5 knots to the destination.


Drivers (skippers), please remember that the wake created by our vessels chops up waves and can leave surfers irritated by our actions. A good relationship between lifeguards and surfers is essential for us to work together. Unless in a rescue situation, always drive well clear of flagged area, swimmers, surfers and other beachgoers. 


ATV/Side by Side Vehicle (Yamaha Viking / CanAm Defender) Safety

Worksafe have launched a safety campaign on use of seatbelts when operating these vehicles. Please take note and observe the precautions below:

These are MVLS guidelines and may differ from Worksafe guidance. We need to be able to use our vehicles effectively and use of the guide above is encouraged to allow us to carry out our duties effectively and safely acknowledging that lifeguards are often in and out of vehicles regularly.

Important note: The <30km/h conditions are not a legal defence. If you are involved in a crash, NZTA and / or Police / Worksafe may investigate, and lack of PPE may not be defensible. Drive vehicles accordingly.

I realise the Yamaha seatbelts are a bit sticky but, I do not want to find seatbelts connected into the buckle to get around the vehicle speed control system. We do not want to put ourselves in line of a possible prosecution.

With our exposure in the public arena, it is essential that our vehicles (including the Hilux) are always driven in a safe manner.


Mercury 30hp starting instructions

  1. Prime fuel bowl using hand primer on fuel line

  2. Kill switch in 'Off' position

  3. Choke fully engaged

  4. Pull start cord x 3 times 'slowly'

  5. Close choke

  6. Kill switch to 'Run' position

  7. Start engine - may require a small amount of throttle

Mercury 30hp troubleshooting guide if an engine will not start


  • Ensure ‘kill switch’ is in the ‘Run’ position.

  • There must be reasonable resistance (compression) on both cylinders when you pull the engine over.

  • Check choke mechanism is engaging correctly (butterfly is opening and closing). A common fault is the choke butterfly seizes due to corrosion. A 10mm socket is required to remove the airbox.

  • Check fuel is getting to the Carburettor (primer bulb is tight) and fuel is fresh.

  • If you have flooded the engine and can see/smell overflow of fuel then push choke in, place kill switch in the ‘run’ position, apply full throttle and pull engine over using two hands to generate a high-speed pull. If engine starts after around 6-8 pulls, hold throttle on until the engine clears surplus fuel, then back off the throttle and allow engine to idle.

  • Fit new spark plugs


If the engine still does not start:

  • Advise Powercraft Officer

Powercraft Issues Reporting

All issues relating to MVLS vehicles / powered rescue craft are to be reported to the Powercraft Officer. The new system will be based on an online survey using a QR Code. The QR Code will be easily found in the IRB Shed and Patrol Tower. If the QR code does not work, contact the Powercraft Officer via email: or call/text Bryce: 021 385116

RWC Operator / IRB Driver Training / IRB Crew Training

We are building a list of people interested in IRB Crew and Driver training. Contact to register your interest.