Boating season kicks off after best safety result in more than 20 years
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay today marked the start of the boating season by announcing NSW’s best boating safety result in more than 20 years.
Mr Gay said the initiatives being undertaken in NSW were reaping results not seen anywhere else in the country, including the roving lifejacket van taking new style lifejackets to boat ramps across the state.
“I’m extremely pleased to announce that we saw our best safety outcomes this year – for the 12 months ending 30 June eight fatalities were recorded state wide compared with 27 fatalities the year before,” Mr Gay said.
“Our boating safety program is the biggest this state has ever seen. It’s included an increase in frontline Boating Safety Officers and Boating Education Officers, a major safety campaign, our roving lifejacket van, community events and a zero-tolerance approach to wearing a lifejacket when required.
“I’m also delighted that after a hugely successful first season last summer in NSW, the Old4New lifejacket van will again be touring boat ramps across the State from this week.
“Last season the lifejacket van went to over 90 locations, was visited by thousands of people and saw more than 2500 lifejackets exchanged.
“We have seen an increase in lifejacket wear rates to 30 per cent, this is three times greater than the 9 per cent recorded in 2007 but there’s still more work to do.
“It’s an awful thought but there will be accidents on our waterways this boating season and we need to make sure wearing a lifejacket is a choice everyone makes before they head out.
“When you think that sadly nine out of ten people who drowned while boating were not wearing a lifejacket, this behavioural change is critical.
“I’d also like to thank the boating industry for working with us to help achieve such a fantastic safety outcome – let’s keep up the good work and have a great season,” Mr Gay said.
More information can be found at Lifejacket Wear It