Transport for NSW has unveiled its latest water safety campaign with the help of footy legend and fishing fanatic Andrew Ettingshausen and Finn, the life-sized yellowfin bream to raise awareness of care and service of your lifejacket.
Inflatable lifejacket use has skyrocketed in recent years and Neil Patchett, from Transport’s Centre for Maritime Safety, said encouraging boaters to keep their lifejackets well-maintained was an important step in further reducing the number of drownings and serious injuries in and around our waterways.
"The Old4New lifejacket exchange program has delivered extremely strong results over the past four years with lifejacket wear rates up more than 400 per cent compared with 10 years ago,” Mr Patchett said
“However it’s vital we now remind people to take proper care of their lifejackets so they can do their job effectively if they’re needed.
“By teaming up with ET and Finn, who both know a thing or two about the dangers in and around our waterways, we’ve managed to put a humorous spin on this important safety message.
“Through a pump mechanism and a deep water voice, Finn bursts into life to share a range of safety tips as part of the new campaign – we hope this will become a reminder to boaters to check their lifejackets before they go out and hook their next prized catch.”
Escape with ET host Andrew Ettingshausen said he was proud to be a part of a campaign that’s all about saving lives.
“Teaming up with Finn the talking fish was fun, but the crux of his message is something all us boaties not only need to listen to, but do as well,” Mr Ettingshausen said.
“Spending a day out on the water is something I love to do – and checking your lifejacket is in good working condition before you head out is one of the most important things you’ll do.”
In NSW, it’s the law to service your inflatable lifejacket once a year or in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
You can do this yourself (if permitted by the manufacturer) or you can get it professionally done, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and once completed, record the service details on the service grid on the lifejacket.
Finn’s three lifejacket tips:
- Make sure your lifejacket is in working order and look for corrosion, wear, damage and leaks before you set out on the water
- Ensure the cylinder or cartridge on your lifejacket is hand tight
- Make sure the pull cord on the lifejacket is accessible and ready to use
The new campaign supports the NSW Government’s commitment to increase lifejacket wear rates and reduce serious injuries and fatalities.
The NSW Government is set to release its ten-year statistical Boating Incidents in NSW report in the coming weeks.
Check out the campaign video.