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Published: 2015-12-18 00:00:00

Boaties are being urged to make sure they get their inflatable lifejackets checked and serviced regularly to ensure they work when needed in times of crisis.

Survey results from last summer indicate a large number of boaties own an inflatable lifejacket but don’t know that they need regular checking and servicing.

The research, undertaken by Waikato Regional Council with support from Water Safety New Zealand and harbourmaster offices around the country, indicated 44 per cent of boaties on coastal waters had an inflatable lifejacket on board but only 40 per cent of this group knew they needed servicing.

“This is really concerning from a safety perspective,” says the council’s maritime services team leader Richard Barnett.

“Boaties think they’re doing the right thing by carrying or wearing an inflatable lifejacket but, because of lack of awareness around servicing, these lifejackets may in fact not work.

“Whatever type of inflatable lifejacket people wear or own, it is imperative they know what type it is, how it works and how and when it must be serviced or checked.”

Richard urges boaties to follow guidelines available on the Maritime NZ web page www.maritimenz.govt.nz/Recreational-Boating/Lifejackets/Lifejackets.asp.

“Our research has highlighted the issue nationally and a set of guidelines has been developed. This is a fantastic step forward for the boating community,” says Richard.