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MNZ signs up to lifejacket promotion principles

8 May 2013

MNZ signs up to international lifejacket promotion principles

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has joined representatives of national boating authorities from Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom as signatory to the International Lifejacket Wear Principles.

The Principles were agreed as part of the Marine13 conference in Sydney last week, following initial development work at the Canadian Safe Boating Council Symposium in 2012.

MNZ Director Keith Manch said the principles aimed to make lifejackets a normal part of any media, publicity, or advertising where small boats were involved.

“Just as use of seatbelts in cars is now entirely expected, we want to see lifejackets being worn whenever small boats are seen on screen or in photographs, he said. “The overall aim is to maximise lifejacket use and encouraging media to make sure they are in the picture is part of that.”

Signatories to the International Lifejacket Wear Principles agree to:

· recognise the fundamental role that wearing a lifejacket plays in protecting people on the water

· recognise the importance of promoting the use of lifejackets when boating

· endeavour to ensure that any publication including brochures, DVD, video and websites will feature all people wearing contemporary lifejackets when in an outside area of a small craft that is underway

· recommend to the recreational boating industry that its publications similarly feature all people wearing lifejackets when in an outside area of a small craft that is underway

· require on-water education and compliance staff to wear lifejackets whenever they are on the water

· use the term “lifejacket” in public information and education

· encourage boating safety networks to become “safety partners” by supporting the above principles.

Mr Manch said across the signatory nations, drowning was the most common factor in all fatal boating incidents with four out of five victims reportedly not wearing a lifejacket at the time.

“These principles reflect what MNZ is already doing but we believe international unity behind the promotion of wearing lifejackets will help strengthen and clarify the importance of lifejackets across all jurisdictions,” he said.

“Wearing lifejackets is our key message to recreational boaties along with checking weather conditions, ensuring they have two means of emergency communications that operate when wet, and avoiding alcohol.

“The simple truth is that lifejackets save lives.”

ENDS

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