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Lifejacket swap puts water safety first

 

The Old4New team, aboard a large VW Crafter van visited 23 boat ramps and locations from Kerikeri to Hamilton over summer, racking up over 3,300km to promote safe boating by encouraging boaties to trade in their old, damaged or worn lifejackets for a discount on brand-new, fit-for-purpose Hutchwilco lifejackets.

Communities across Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and Waikato got aboard the trade-in initiative, resulting in over 1500 old lifejackets being upgraded – a great result for on-water safety.

The busiest days regularly saw over 70 lifejackets being upgraded – 99 lifejackets in a little over four hours on Waiheke Island, and 105 lifejackets in the Kerikeri New World supermarket car park.

A total of 51 lifejackets were traded at Mangawhai Heads and Marsden Cove,

Coastguard were once again overwhelmed with the support from boaties and the public for the campaign.

“We’re pleased the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade Campaign enjoyed such huge support from the boating community across the Region,” says Callum Gillespie, Coastguard Northern Region CEO.

“Fifteen hundred traded-in lifejackets means that there’s 1500 people who are now safer than ever on the water, that’s making a real difference in our communities.”

The Old4New team also shared key safety messages and encouraged safe boating practises, including wearing (not just taking) your lifejacket when aboard your boat, checking marine weather and taking at least two forms of waterproof communications.

Of the traded-in lifejackets, 300 still meet or exceed New Zealand safety standards, and will be distributed to in-need organisations such as schools and community groups to support their water safety education programmes.

Long-time supporters included the Giltrap Group, Hutchwilco, and Burnsco.

 
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