The Old4New van will be visiting Cabramatta to share advice with boaters and rock fishers about choosing and maintaining modern lifejackets.
The mobile van will be at Freedom Plaza, 54 Park Road Cabramatta on Wednesday 18 January between 10am and 2pm, where you can exchange your old lifejacket for a new slimline version at a discounted price.
“This is Old4New’s fourth season and the team is as keen as ever to get amongst our boating communities to advise on choosing and maintaining the right lifejacket for your height, weight, ability and water activity,” Neil Patchett, from the Centre for Maritime Safety said.
The Old4New van’s visit to Cabramatta coincides with a new campaign to remind rock fishers that wearing lifejackets is now mandatory around the Randwick LGA. Rock fishing claimed the lives of ten people last year and not one of the victims wore a lifejacket. As a result, a 12-month trial was announced in December 2016 throughout the Randwick LGA, where, after the trial period, non-compliance could see $100 on-the-spot fines issued.
“Everyone should wear a lifejacket so they have a great day out and make it back home to the people they love”, Neil Patchett said.
And that applies to jet ski riders. “If you are riding a jet ski, a lifejacket must be worn at all times – it could save your life if you end up in the water”, Mr Patchett continued.
“Wearing a lifejacket is by far the most effective way to prevent drowning, and with new, modern designs, lifejackets are less bulky and more comfortable to wear so there’s no good reason for not chucking one on.
“During this boating season the van will visit around 160 towns and communities throughout NSW to not only offer upgraded lifejackets, but also to give anyone interested in learning about lifejacket care and service the opportunity to speak with trained staff.
“It’s important to take good care of your lifejacket and to care and service them to ensure they can do their job effectively. In NSW, it’s the law to service your inflatable lifejacket once a year or in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, so this is an excellent opportunity to understand exactly what‘s needed to make sure your lifejacket always keeps you safe.”
The Old4New exchange is part of a wider Transport for NSW programme helping to increase lifejacket wear rates and decrease boating fatalities statewide.
For information on compulsory lifejackets for rock fishing, visit the Water Safety website.