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Lifejackets save lives, learn how to look after yours for free

by Leigh Wannan 6 Feb 23:56 UTC
Wearing a lifejacket could save your life © RYA

A new phase of the successful NSW Government 'Wear a lifejacket' program is being launched, with free lifejacket clinics in selected areas in NSW during February.

Executive Director NSW Maritime Angus Mitchell said the clinics will start this weekend and will see Roads and Maritime staff teaching boaters how to carry out a simple pre-wear check before use and how to service their own inflatable lifejackets.

"We know lifejackets save lives but they can only do so when they are maintained and in good working order," Mr Mitchell said.

"Inflatable lifejackets are easy to wear, comfortable and affordable but they require extra care and attention to ensure they will inflate in an emergency.

"It's a legal requirement in NSW to service inflatable lifejackets every year or in accordance with manufacturers' instructions.

"Some manufacturers allow self-service of inflatable lifejackets and at these clinics Roads and Maritime Services will provide you with advice on how to do this.

"For lifejackets that can't be self-serviced, Roads and Maritime Services will provide you with advice on how to find an accredited lifejacket service agent.

'Everyone needs to know how to conduct a simple pre-wear check every time they use an inflatable lifejacket. It only takes a minute to check the basics like cartridges good to go and screwed in hand tight, and the emergency pull cord is out and ready to go.

"Boaters who come along to the clinics will be eligible to receive free lifejacket parts kits or $15 vouchers which can be used towards the purchase of a new lifejacket or parts at participating marine retailers.

"We are encouraging anyone who is interested in the event to register ahead of time.

"These clinics will be held alongside Roads and Maritime's expired marine flare mobile collection service, so it's an opportunity for boaters to hand in expired flares and make sure all of their safety equipment is in tip-top shape."

Mr Mitchell said all boaters are encouraged to wear lifejackets at all times on the water.

"NSW has some of the best waterways in the country and we want people to enjoy their time on the water, but we want to make sure people do so safely.

"Remember; wear a lifejacket, don't risk your life."

Boaters are encouraged to attend the following inflatable lifejacket service clinics:

  • 9 February - Fishery Creek Boat Ramp, Johnson Drive, off River Street, Ballina (2-4pm)
  • 10 February - Yamba Road Boat Ramp, Yamba Road, Yamba (2-4pm)
  • 15 February - Hanging Rock Boat Ramp, Hanging Rock Place, Batemans Bay (2-4pm)
  • 16 February - Greenwell Point Boat Ramp, Adelaide Street, Greenwell Point (2-4pm)
  • 17 February - Port Kembla Boat Ramp, Foreshore Drive, Outer Harbour (2-4pm)
  • 23 February - Bayview Boat Ramp, Pittwater Road, Bayview (8-10am)
  • 24 February - Foreshore Road Boat Ramp, Foreshore Drive, Banksmeadow (2-4pm)
To attend a free clinic, please visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/lifejacketclinics

This program supports the NSW Government's Towards Zero campaign to reduce fatalities on the waterways.

For more information on lifejacket wear and servicing, visit www.maritimemanagement.transport.nsw.gov.au

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