TV Ad Campaign to Boost Lifejacket Awareness

A new lifejacket campaign has been launched by our friends at Transport for NSW in a bid to promote safe and responsible boating behaviour.

Surf Life Saving resources are regularly tasked to assist with maritime search and rescue operations for missing or in-distress kayakers, surf ski paddlers, kite surfers, rockfishers and overturned vessels.

SLSNSW Lifesaving Manager, Andy Kent, is supportive of the campaign.

"For those who have taken precautions and are wearing a lifejacket, the outcome is almost always a good one.

"We are very happy to support any campaign or initiative which works to save lives," said Andy.

Since its inception the State Emergency Response System has responded to 359 calls for assistance for overturned vessels and boats in distress. This is a total of 21 percent of all emergency call-outs.

Maritime Management Centre General Manager Howard Glenn said over the past decade, nine out of 10 people who drowned while boating in NSW were not wearing a lifejacket.

“This campaign is all about saving lives. It's that simple,” Mr Howard Glenn said.

“The campaign will really focus on educating people about the benefits of wearing a lifejacket.

“This summer's campaign is the most comprehensive to date and includes paid media in TV, outdoor, in-venue, radio, print and digital channels,” Mr Glenn said.

A key part of the strategy will be to dispel the theory that lifejackets are too big and bulky to wear.

“A lot of people still don't know that lifejackets don't impact a day out on the water. They‟re slim fitting, stylish, modern, affordable and available in all shapes and sizes,” Mr Glenn said.

“Our campaign is not just about talking to our regular boaters, it's about reaching a far wider audience. This includes women who research has shown play an important part in reinforcing this safety message to their families.”

An exciting new lifejacket road show initiative will also be launching in coming weeks.

To supplement the campaign there will also be a'zero tolerance' approach taken by Boating Safety Officers (BSO) and Marine Area Command to anyone not wearing a lifejacket when required to by law and a lifejacket loan project set up that enables BSOs to loan lifejackets to people who don‟t have any onboard their boat as required by law.

For more information, visit the Life Jacket Wear It website.

Tue 12 Nov 2013