Trade could be lifesaver for skippers
Exmouth is one of the next stops for a new Department of Transport program encouraging recreational boat skippers to wear good-quality and functional lifejackets.
The Old4New lifejacket upgrade program — a Statewide educational program from the department and the Royal Life Saving Society of WA which promotes the benefits of wearing lifejackets at all times while boating — has upcoming sessions in Exmouth and Carnarvon.
Department safety education manager Laurie Adams said the towns were boating hubs of regional WA.
“The aim is to change people’s behaviour and improve the safety of people who enjoy boating in WA,” he said.
As part of Old4New, skippers will receive vouchers to buy lifejackets from participating retailers, with old, damaged, obsolete or foam-filled lifejackets able to be exchanged for a voucher each.
There will be a maximum of three vouchers per vessel available. Program staff will visit Exmouth this Saturday from 1-2pm at the Exmouth Marina boat ramp, followed by a session in which Exmouth marine education officers demonstrate the correct use of flares.
The department’s education team will also visit local boat ramps and caravan parks on Good Friday and Easter Monday to further promote boating safety to skippers.
Mr Adams said skippers who wished to participate in the Old4New program should read the program guidelines online at transport.wa.gov.au/lifejackets.
The Old4New lifejacket campaign is based on programs in other States and received a strong response in the Perth metropolitan area, where it was introduced earlier this year after a 2016 trial.
A similar program in New South Wales saw the number of boaters wearing lifejackets quadruple since 2007.