This year’s boating season is well underway and already, Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have rescued a number of people from possibly life-threatening situations.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos urges skippers to always ensure everyone onboard wears a lifejacket and says this is the simplest safety measure to help protect lives in the unfortunate event of a boating emergency.
“In the 12 months between July 2012 and June 2013 there were 27 drowning deaths in boating tragedies. Lifejackets could have prevented such a terrible waste of life,” said Tannos, adding: “A lifejacket can only save your life if you are wearing it. Putting on a lifejacket should be the very first thing you do when you step aboard a boat and you shouldn’t take it off till you’re back on land.”
Tannos reinforces the message that the skipper is responsible for the safety of their boat and all passengers and should ensure everyone onboard wears a lifejacket at all times.
“Many accidents and mishaps are not foreseeable and conditions can change rapidly on the water. It’s not worth risking your life or those of your family and friends. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life wishing you’d been safe, not sorry.
“A range of modern, light-weight jackets that are comfortable and allow for a full range of movement is now available on the market. If you find your old-model jacket bulky and cumbersome to wear for extended periods, it’s worth considering investing in a new model,” said Tannos.
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