Coastguard launches latest boating safety initiative

With summer on our doorstep Coastguard is excited to announce the launch of its latest boating safety initiative. The ‘Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade’ campaign sees a van laden with brand new lifejackets visiting boat ramps around the greater Auckland region. Anyone who owns a lifejacket will be able upgrade their current one for a brand new fit for purpose lifejacket with a competitive trade in discount.

The Old4New initiative with the tagline – ‘Wear a lifejacket. It never ruined a day on the water’ will commence Saturday 8 November at Half Moon Bay Marina, and then at Westhaven Marina on Sunday 9 November. The Old4New Upgrade van will visit over 40 boat ramps over summer with two sessions per day from 6.30am – 9.30am and again from 3.30pm – 6.30pm. A full location schedule of ramp visits can be downloaded from

The ‘Old4New Upgrade’ van will be a vibrant addition to major boat ramps around the greater Auckland and Northland areas on weekends and key week days throughout the busy summer holiday period. Boaties and members of the public are encouraged to visit the van and trade in their old lifejackets where they then receive a generous trade-in discount on a new quality lifejacket.

“This is a great way for Coastguard to get out and about to talk to boaties about boating safety. Having a fit for purpose lifejacket is vital when heading out on the water and the ‘Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade’ Campaign makes it very convenient to get the appropriate lifejacket and the right fit. Our team will be on hand to provide advice and we hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to upgrade their old lifejackets” said Patrick Holmes, CEO, Coastguard New Zealand

“We are thrilled to bring this to communities around the region and really encourage the public to engage and take advantage of the opportunity. The campaign forms a key part of Coastguard’s advocacy for safe and enjoyable boating over the 2014/15 summer boating season, made possible with the support of lifejacket manufacturer Hutchwilco, vehicle distributor Giltrap Group, marine retailer Burnsco and printing and signage company Benefitz.” said David Tommas, CEO, Coastguard Northern Region.

The campaign was originally initiated by the Maritime Management Centre of New South Wales and successfully rolled out in Australia. In a demonstration of building partnerships in safety, the Centre provided access to campaign resources and graphics for roll out in New Zealand.

Maritime Management Centre spokesman Neil Patchett said: “This trans-Tasman collaboration reflects the mutual concerns over preventable drowning in boating. Those most at risk in both jurisdictions are males in small craft who are not wearing a lifejacket.

“A primary aim of the project is to break down the perception that all lifejackets are just big, bulky and uncomfortable, and promote awareness of modern, functional jackets that can be worn in comfort for the duration of a typical day out in a boat.”

“Hutchwilco congratulates Coastguard on this fantastic initiative and are proud to be the New Zealand company providing water safety product to the marine industry.” says Tim Ritchie, Marketing & Sales Manager, Hutchwilco.

For more information about the ‘Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade’ Campaign including resources and the boat ramp visit schedule or to find out more about Coastguard visit

For more information contact:

Georgie Smith 
021 436 834

Monique Caddy
021 420 653

About Coastguard New Zealand:
Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service. The organisation operates from a network of four regions and 70 affiliated units, located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand. Coastguard New Zealand is a volunteer organisation with a charitable status. It has more than 2,320 active search and rescue Volunteers who provide over 315,000 hours of their time each year to educate, protect and help save lives at sea. Coastguard performed over 2,840 rescues to bring 7,334 New Zealanders home safely this past year. There are 78 dedicated rescue vessels in Coastguard New Zealand’s fleet, nine air patrol units and one dedicated communications unit. All crew members on board Coastguard vessels and air patrol craft are trained search and rescue personnel working to enhance the safety of all New Zealanders when they participate in boating and water activities.

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