“The men were not wearing lifejackets and the boat capsized so quickly that they did not have time to put them on before being thrown in to the sea.”

This is an all too familiar headline, with tragic consequences for one of the trio who drowned. All could have been avoided if they had been wearing their lifejackets.

WaterSafe Auckland, together with a number of community leaders, health, safety and injury prevention groups, and individuals has been working to strengthen the Auckland’s Navigation Safety Bylaw by making the wearing of lifejackets compulsory in small vessels*. A number of New Zealand Councils already have such a regulation in place.

The present Bylaw requires lifejackets to be carried and worn at times of heightened risk, at the discretion of the skipper.

Auckland Council is reviewing the current regulations and we urge you to have your say by completing a short survey (everyone who completes it has a chance to win a lifejacket). There will also be further opportunity to comment when the draft Bylaw is available for public feedback later this year.

Thank you…

*Maritime NZ research shows recreational boating deaths occur more frequently in vessels under 6 metres, and that many of these deaths could have been prevented if the person had been wearing a lifejacket.