Maritime NZ promotes lifejackets with national retailer

1 December 2016

Maritime NZ has launched a national lifejacket promotion “Nobody’s faster than disaster”, with national retailer Rebel Sport, to get more Kiwi boaties into the “best survival gear you can wear on a boat - your lifejacket,” said Director Keith Manch today.

With half of all New Zealand adults expected to be mucking about in boats this summer, Maritime NZ has taken the unprecedented step of linking with national retailer, Rebel Sport which is offering a 20% discount off lifejackets for the next two weeks. “Our hats go off to Rebel Sport and News Works, the industry body that represents news media publishers around NZ, who are also generously supporting our annual Safer Boating campaign,” said Mr Manch.

“We know that two thirds of all boatie deaths could be prevented if boaties wear their lifejackets,” he said. “With the summer boating season starting we want boaties to really think about ensuring that their boat has enough lifejackets on board to fit friends and family and remind them it’s the skipper’s job to ensure they wear them.”

The vast majority of boating fatalities tend to be European men, aged more than 45 years old, and in small craft under 6 metres. However, Maritime NZ’s research shows that younger Kiwis under 30 years are also now showing up in fatalities with the huge surge in popularity of stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and canoes. Last financial year 16 people died in boating related incidents, which was half the boating toll of the previous 2014/15 year toll of 32 people.

Mr Manch said that the boating population is mainly European (88%), and the mostly live north of Taupo (45%) with 16% in Canterbury and 11% living in the Wellington-Wairarapa regions.

“As a regulator we get to see far too many boaties dying and when you look into the causes they often revolve around males not wearing their lifejacket, the skipper not making sensible decisions, not checking the marine weather, carrying no way of calling for help if they get in trouble and drinking too many beers. All these things can be avoided with planning which is why we encourage people to Prep their boat, Check their gear and Know the rules.”

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