Coastguard Urges Boaties to Wear Life Jackets

Coastguard strongly urges anyone heading out on the water to wear a lifejacket this holiday season.

“The Christmas and New Year period is always a busy time for Coastguard volunteers and we can’t stress enough the importance of wearing life jackets. By wearing your life jacket you’re giving yourself the best chance of survival because accidents are by definition unpredictable, and it is extremely difficult to put on a life jacket once you are in the water. Take them and wear them – they are your best protection when the unexpected happens,” said Patrick Holmes, CEO Coastguard New Zealand.

“Skippers also have a big role to play in this - the skipper is responsible for every person on board the boat. They have an obligation to take responsibility for their passenger’s safety.” said Holmes.

Coastguard is running its Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade through to the end of January encouraging boaties and members of the public to bring along their old life jackets and trade them in for a brand new fit for purpose quality lifejacket at a great trade-in discount.

This is a big part of Coastguard’s safe boating message and is a great chance for kiwis to get sorted for summer. The Old4New van fully laden with lifejackets is travelling around the Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and Waikato on weekends and key days throughout the summer holiday period. ,

“The summer season is a great time to get out on the water and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends however it’s important to remember the simple safety rules amongst all of the fun. These five simple rules could save your life.

Life Jackets: Take them – Wear them.

Boats, especially ones under 6m in length, can sink very quickly. Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time in the water.


Take two separate waterproof ways of communicating so we can help you if you get into difficulties.

Marine Weather

New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable.  Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.

Avoid Alcohol

Safe boating and alcohol do not mix. Things can change quickly on the water.  You need to stay alert and aware.

Skipper Responsibility

The skipper is responsible for the safety of everyone on board and for the safe operation of the boat. Stay within the limits of your vessel and your experience. Take a Coastguard Boating Education Course, like Day Skipper, Boatmaster and marine VHF radio training -


For more information on Coastguard’s Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign go to


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