Big increase in lifejacket sales a good sign for summer
Nation-wide retailer, Rebel Sport, has doubled its sales of lifejackets in the first week of the month, and Coastguard sold 300 lifejackets in the first weekend of its “Old4New” promotion.
Maritime NZ Education and Communications Manager, Pania Shingleton, said about half the lifejackets used by recreational boaties are sold in the few weeks before Christmas and it is great news to see even more sales this year.
“Wearing your lifejacket is the most important thing boaties can do to keep themselves safer on the water,” Ms Shingleton said. “Our tragic statistic is that about two-thirds of recreational boating deaths could be prevented by taking the simple step of wearing a lifejacket.
“If you plan to go boating, then buying the right-sized lifejackets can be a practical family Christmas present.”
Maritime NZ is making buying lifejackets easier this year. It has provided $75,000 for Coastguard to run the “Old4New” lifejacket upgrade programme sponsored by Hutchwilco, and has joined up with Rebel Sport to offer 20% off lifejackets in a promotion sponsored by media publisher News Works.
“New Zealand is a nation of boaties. It seems about one-third to half of our population takes to the water in 1 million recreational craft,” Ms Shingleton said.
“Those big numbers – and we know they are increasing – mean boat safety is really important.
“By law every boat has a ‘skipper’ and the skipper is in charge.
“If you’re the ‘skipper’ taking friends or family out on the water, take two waterproof ways to call for help, check the marine weather forecast, avoid alcohol and, above all, make sure everyone wears a lifejacket.”
The Old4New Lifejacket campaign is based on a concept run in Australia by Transport New South Wales and has been adapted for New Zealand.