Old4New draws a crowd

1 February 2017

A recent report found that over the past 10 years 473 people have drowned in Australian waterways whilst participating in a boating activity. Only 8% of these individuals were wearing a lifejacket at the time of their drowning death. Studies have found that wearing a lifejacket doubles a person’s chance of survival once immersed in water. Royal Life Saving Society WA has partnered with the Department of Transport (DoT) to promote the importance of boaters wearing lifejackets at all times when out on the water.two containers of old lifejackets with the Old4New logo on the front

Royal Life Saving Society WA Senior Manager Research and Health Promotion, Lauren Nimmo, says “It is concerning that so many people failing to take their safety seriously while boating by not wearing a lifejacket. Lifejackets are not what they used to be. The uncomfortable bulkiness is out the window and new slimline compact lifejackets are available. With this new design, there is no excuse to not wear one on the water.”

The 2017 Old4New lifejacket campaign, which encourages boaters to bring their old lifejackets to the event and exchange them for a new slimline self-inflating lifejacket, was launched last weekend at three locations; Maylands Boat Ramp, Woodman Point Boat Ramp and Point Peron Boat Ramp. People queued for up to an hour before the events to ensure they didn’t miss out.

139 old, damaged or obsolete lifejackets were exchanged across the three events, with participants paying $65 to exchange their old lifejacket for a brand new self-inflating slimline version. A further 130 lifejackets were exchanged for $15 vouchers towards a new lifejacket.

The events also enabled boat owners to get advice and information from Department of Transport and Royal Life Saving staff about boating safety. On Sunday boaters were also able to get information from the Rockingham Volunteer Sea Rescue group about services available in their area.

There are more events coming up over the next few months, at Ocean Reef on the 12th February, Augusta on the 5-6th of March and other regional areas with dates to be confirmed. Miss Nimmo says “We are encouraging all boat owners to come down to one of the locations over the next few weeks and months to take advantage of this great deal and ensure they are safe on our waters.”

“There have been 16 drownings since October 2016 in Western Australia and this alone is alarming. We’d urge all West Australians to remember our 4 key messages to keep safe in and on the water. Wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol around water, always supervise young children and learn how to save a life” said Miss Nimmo.

For more information about the Old4New program click the link below.

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