“Check it inflates, mate!”– concerns prompt guidelines

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 50, June 2016

This summer the Safer Boating Forum urged boaties to check their inflatable lifejackets with the line “Check it inflates, mate!”

New national guidelines and a Safer Boating Week mini-guide explain how and when to service inflatable lifejackets. The guidelines address concerns about lifejackets failing to inflate and boating confusion about servicing recommendations.

Maritime NZ deputy director and chair of the Safer Boating Forum, Lindsay Sturt, says for the first time we now have nationally agreed, clear, consistent information about safely using inflatable lifejackets in New Zealand.

“The aim is to help save the lives of recreational boaties by helping them choose the correct lifejackets, and, crucially, to know how and when to service them,” Lindsay says.

The advice helps boaties decide what lifejackets to buy and use, and, for the first time, simple instructions for servicing that boaties can easily do themselves. It includes:

  • pre-wear checks – what to do every time an inflatable lifejacket is worn
  • self-servicing – do these checks at least once a year
  • servicing by approved agents – do these as the manufacturer recommends.

The guidelines were distributed to manufacturers, importers and retailers to include on packaging, swing tags, instructions, websites and other material intended for the public. They are also useful advice for staff working with the public.

Download Guidelines for manufacturers & retailers[PDF: 280Kb, 5 pages]

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