Getting on board with Sailability

17 March 2020

Royal Life Saving WA, in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, has upgraded over 450 lifejackets this financial year as a part of the Old4New lifejacket upgrade program. In return, participants are then able to upgrade to a new inflatable lifejacket at a discounted rate. But what happens with the old ones?

Assisting sailability participant getting on a boatMany of the lifejackets are old, damaged or obsolete, but some are still viable and the owner just wants a more slim option. These lifejackets have recently been donated to Sailability. 

Sailability is a program that provides sailing opportunities for people with a disability regardless of their ability, mobility or circumstances. They have 11 vessels available that are capable of catering to a variety of needs.

The program is run at South of Perth Yacht Club on Wednesday mornings by a team of committed volunteers. It takes approximately 30 people each week as there are needs for skippers, rigging helpers, crane operators, safety boat drivers and more.  

The participants enjoy an hour of sailing on safe, protected waters under the observation of a team of safety boats. To ensure they receive the best conditions sailing does not take place if the temperature is above 34 degrees or wind over 15 knots. The season runs from October through March and you can learn more about the program here.  

Studies have found that wearing a lifejacket doubles a person’s chance of survival once immersed in water. The Old4New program is part of a wider campaign to get people into the habit of putting on a lifejacket each time they go boating.

Click here to learn more about the Old4New lifejacket upgrade program and for upcoming events. 

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