Coastguard launches life jacket upgrade initiative

By: Coastguard NZ

Coastguard New Zealand has launched a new boating safety initiative in time for summer – swapping old life jackets for new ones.

Coastguard launches life jacket upgrade initiative
The Old4New life jacket upgrade campaign kicks off 8 Nov 2014.

The ‘Old4New life jacket upgrade’ campaign will see a van laden with brand new life jackets visiting more than 40 boat ramps around the greater Auckland region. Anyone who owns an old life jacket will be able upgrade it to a brand-new one, with a competitive trade in discount.

"Wear a life jacket. It never ruined a day on the water" is the tagline for the Old4New initiative. It will commence Saturday 8 November at Half Moon Bay Marina, and then at Westhaven Marina on Sunday 9 November.

Boaties and members of the public are encouraged to visit the van and trade in their old life jackets where they then receive a generous trade-in discount on a new quality life jacket.

Coastguard New Zealand CEO Patrick Holmes commented: "Having a fit for purpose life jacket is vital when heading out on the water and the Old4New life jacket upgrade campaign makes it very convenient to get the appropriate life jacket and the right fit.

"Our team will be on hand to provide advice and we hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to upgrade their old life jackets."

Coastguard Northern Region CEO David Tommas added: "The campaign forms a key part of Coastguard’s advocacy for safe and enjoyable boating over the 2014/15 summer boating season, made possible with the support of life jacket manufacturer Hutchwilco, vehicle distributor Giltrap Group, marine retailer Burnsco and printing and signage company Benefitz."

The campaign was originally initiated by the Maritime Management Centre of New South Wales and successfully rolled out in Australia.

Maritime management centre spokesman Neil Patchett said: "This trans-Tasman collaboration reflects the mutual concerns over preventable drowning in boating. Those most at risk in both jurisdictions are males in small craft who are not wearing a life jacket.

"A primary aim of the project is to break down the perception that all life jackets are just big, bulky and uncomfortable, and promote awareness of modern, functional jackets that can be worn in comfort for the duration of a typical day out in a boat."

For more information and a full location schedule of ramp visits, visit

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