Boaties wearing lifejackets
Do you insist that everyone boating with you wears a lifejacket?
Nearly all boaties seen in the Marlborough Sounds by official patrols this week have been wearing lifejackets, harbourmaster Alex van Wijngaarden says.
It was "absolutely fantastic" that the message was getting through, he said.
Wearing lifejackets on the water was "becoming normal".
The harbourmaster's office had been pushing for all boaties to wear lifejackets and the response this year had been one of the best for a long time, he said.
"It is really, really gratifying to see how many people were wearing life jackets. It's really good, absolutely fantastic."
Captain van Wijngaarden said he had been on a routine patrol in Pelorus Sound on Monday and most boaties he encountered had been wearing lifejackets. His team doing similar patrols in Queen Charlotte Sound had reported the same thing.
There had been a lot of education about the need for wearing lifejackets, but media exposure and the high profile of two men who had died in the Sounds in boating incidents when they were not wearing lifejackets was the most likely cause for the improvement, he said.
"The message is getting through. It has been noticed and we're very impressed."
People responded well when it was raised with them, Captain van Wijngaarden said.
"There is always going to be a sector of the boating community that is not going to be as understanding, but on the whole we have talked to people about lifejackets and they understand.
"They have lifejackets with them, and wearing them is becoming normal. It's pretty good."
The Warehouse store manager Ian Daubney said yesterday lifejackets were selling extremely well at the Blenheim store.
"We're selling heaps. People are very conscious this year of water safety. It's good, very good."
All sizes were selling, not just children's lifejackets, he said.
"People have just bought boats and they're coming in specifically to kit out the whole family."
Lifejackets were popular most years, but The Warehouse had sold a lot more this year.
- The Marlborough Express
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