Life jacket campaign in Southland on Thursday

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    Coastguard's Old4New Life Jacket Upgrade campaign van. Photo: Supplied

    COASTGUARD’S successful Old4New Life Jacket Upgrade campaign is back for summer and will be in Southland on Thursday, January 11.

    The van will be at Riverton Coastguard from 8am-11am, and at Pleasure and Marine in Invercargill from 1pm-4pm.

    This will be the second year the popular boating safety initiative had been run nationwide with the Old4New van, supplied by the Giltrap Group, visiting popular boat ramps and key locations from the far north to the deep south.

    Forming a key part of Coastguard’s advocacy for safe and enjoyable boating, people can bring their old, damaged or out-of-date life jackets to the Old4New van and receive a discount on a new Hutchwilco life jacket.

    Coastguard New Zealand chief executive Patrick Holmes said the campaign provided an easy and accessible way for people to ensure they had the correct number of fit for purpose life jackets to wear on their boat.

    “Life jackets save lives, it’s as simple as that,” Holmes said.

    “Two-thirds of recreational boating fatalities would likely be prevented if life jackets were worn. A life jacket has never ruined a day on the water.”

    More than 7000 life jackets had been traded in during the past three years of the campaign.

    For those unable to get to the Old4New van, retailer Boating and Outdoors was also supporting the initiative by offering the Old4New trade-in deal at its stores nationwide during specific weeks of the campaign.

    The reach of the Old4New life jacket upgrade goes beyond New Zealand shores, with good quality, traded-in life jackets which meet New Zealand standards shipped to communities in need.

    “Through our partnerships with Matson Shipping, we’re able to send these life jackets to at-risk communities in the Pacific Islands,” Mr Holmes said.

    “Since the start of the Old4New Life Jacket Upgrade in 2014, close to 1500 life jackets have been given to these communities ensuring local fisherman don’t risk their lives while out at sea and Island children are kept safe on their commute to school.”

    The Old4New Life Jacket Upgrade is funded by Maritime New Zealand with support from the Southern Trust in conjunction with support from Kiwi companies Hutchwilco and the Giltrap Group.

    For a full location schedule, go to www.old4New.nz or phone Coastguard on 0800 BOATIE (262 843).

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