Trade could be life­saver for skip­pers

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

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