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Life Jacket Campaign Aimed At Saving Lives

Life Jacket Campaign Aimed At Saving Lives

Of the 100 people who have drowned in boats in New Zealand waters over the last five years, around 75 would still be alive if they had been wearing a lifejacket. That’s the sobering message behind the Maritime Safety Authority’s summer campaign ‘Stay on Top’, which is being launched on Thursday 17 October at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.

To get across the message of the importance of lifejackets, 75 New Zealanders of all shapes and sizes (including some famous faces) will don lifejackets and link arms at the Viaduct Basin at lunchtime on Thursday, representing all of the New Zealanders who have died in boating accidents.

The families of some of the people who died this year in boating accidents will also be at the ‘Stay of Top’ launch. They want to tell their stories to get across to other New Zealanders the crucial message about the importance of lifejackets. One is Helen Lihou, whose husband David drowned on Easter Monday during a fishing trip on the Manukau harbour, leaving her to raise their 4 children. Michael Vazey, the only survivor of the same accident, will also be there.

David Morris, whose partner Leatrice Welsh drowned on the Kaipara harbour this year, and Feta Foo Chong, who lost her husband John on Canterbury’s Waimakarere River on April 1, will also attend.

The Maritime Safety Authority’s summer campaign is sponsored by TelstraClear, and includes television advertisements based on the real life stories of some of the New Zealanders who have lost their loved ones through boating accidents, where life jackets were not worn.

Photo Opportunities: 75 people in lifejackets will link hands in front of the MSA’s giant billboard at the Viaduct Basin to represent the New Zealanders who have drowned in boating accidents in the last 5 years Some children and famous Kiwis will wear the temporary tattoos being given out to support the campaign messages. Director of Maritime Safety, Russell Kilvington and Rosemary Howard, the Chief Executive of TelstraClear, will raise the flag which all commercial charter boats operating during the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup will fly to show that they have passed the MSA’s safety check. TelstraClear is a partner with the MSA on its summer safety campaign.

When: 12.20 pm on Thursday 17 October Where: Market Square, Viaduct Basin, outside Simunovich Fisheries (wharf side). Launch: 4.00 pm on Thursday 17 October. The TV advertisements will be shown. Where: Kawau Kat, Viaduct Basin.

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