A government programme in New South Wales, Old4New, is encouraging boaters and water users to trade in their old lifejackets for new ones with modern technology and systems.
The added bonus to this initiative is that the used lifejackets are being sent on to Papua New Guinea to help improve marine safety across the country.
Marine Business wrote this month that the Old4New life jacket programme, which has been running since 2013, has collected about 23,000 older-style block lifejackets in exchange for about
19,000 newer jackets being sold.
“These traded-in lifejackets are still in excellent condition and fully meet Australian safety standards,” said NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey.
“We know the Old4New program is helping to make boating safer in NSW and are delighted it is also now doing the same in Papua New Guinea.”
Over the past five years, the Old4New campaign van has visited more than 610 sites across NSW selling the latest lightweight models at a subsidised price. Lifejacket wear rates in NSW have
risen from 9% to 45% over the past decade.
The current boating season in NSW has seen a reduction in the number of accidents and on-water incidents reported by Roads and Maritime Services although the number of fatalities has
increased by 100% compared to the same period last year.
Since 1 October 2017 a total of 95 incidents have been reported which resulted in 20 serious injuries and six fatalities. Over 40,000 vessels and PWC were checked with varying degrees of
interaction from Boating Safety Officers and Boating Education Officers.