Get it on or it’s no good
Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 51, December 2016
Maritime leaders took a giant leap for Safer Boating Week in October, by taking to the water clutching their life jackets rather than wearing them.
The aim was to show how difficult it is to put your life jacket on when already in the ‘drink’ - for example if your boat has capsized, or you have been knocked off a paddleboard or inflatable.
Wharf jumps were held in Wellington and Auckland to mark the start of the Safer Boating Week promotions, with the initial non-wearers followed closely off the pier by dozens of safety-conscious leaders wearing their lifejackets firmly fastened.
A wide range of media and other activities drew the nation’s attention to Safer Boating Week October 14-21, and the traditional Labour Weekend start of the recreational boating season. The hosts of TV3 fishing programme Big Angry Fish fronted Prep, Check, Know videos that made a splash on social media and were widely shared by Safer Boating Forum stakeholders.
The quirky videos show boaties how to prep their vessel, check their gear (including two forms of waterproof communications such as a distress beacon, mobile phone, or VHF radio), and know the rules on the water.
Hosts Nathan and Milan also took a TV3 Story reporter out on Auckland harbour for the day to show him, and viewers, the ropes. Water safety leaders, including Maritime NZ’s Keith Manch and Lindsay Sturt, had prime-time media interviews spreading safety messages and talking about a “no excuses” enforcement trial this season.
Recreational boaties not carrying or wearing lifejackets, and those who speed on the water, could be pulled up and served with infringement notices of up to $300 - depending on councils’ existing bylaws. Eight councils are taking part in the trial, which may be extended next summer.
“Each regional council will be letting boaties in their communities know that enforcement action will happen sometime during summer. The specific days when this will occur will not be publicised. Our expectation that safe boaties follow the safety requirements each and every time they go on the water,” says Keith.
The enforcement programme is part of $470,000 in grants made this year by Maritime NZ for local recreational boating safety initiatives.
Meanwhile Maritime NZ’s innovative digital advertising campaign is back in action. The “Get it on or it’s no good” lifejacket campaign involves a geo-fence around the entire country that was activated again on October 23 and will be in operation to the end of March.
If they have any one of 25 advert networks open on their mobile device, including Facebook, Instagram and Google, boaties will automatically get sent a lifejacket reminder when they leave the coast.
The campaign won Maritime NZ and advertising agency FCB Media Communication Agencies’ Association of NZ awards for effectiveness in social marketing and use of digital technology.
Safer Boating activities are set to continue throughout the summer, with new promotional material including a Prep, Check, Know fold-out guide. It reminds readers to take a Boating Education course, check their inflatable lifejacket is working properly, and download the essential MarineMate and MetService Apps for weather, tides, boat ramps and local rules.
Go to our Safer Boating Facebook and website to catch up on all the action from Safer Boating Forum members and the wider recreational boating community: