Lifejackets need checks
Inflatable lifejackets have taken the market by storm – they’re lightweight, easy to wear and able to fit a variety of people.
However, Waikato Regional Council harbourmasters are concerned about the boating public’s lack of awareness in servicing inflatables.
At a recent event, nearly 100 boaties were asked how many owned an inflatable jacket. Nearly the whole room put up their hand. When asked how many serviced their jacket regularly, no-one did.
‘‘ Inflatable jackets are not the same as other buoyancy aids,’’ said the council’s maritime services manager Nicole Botherway.
‘‘People can’t guarantee they will work when needed unless they do maintenance and regular checks.
‘‘ Checking the canister isn’t corroded, hasn’t been used, and is properly screwed is essential. Other checks include looking for signs of wear on the jacket, and inflating the bladder overnight to make sure there aren’t any holes.’’
Information on servicing is at waikatoregion.govt.nz/lifejacket or call the maritime services team on 0800 800 401.