With the Manukau Harbour considered to be one of the most dangerous coasts in New Zealand and a 20% of people still report that wear a lifejacket either never or not very often, the establishement of the Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) project was proved necessary.
For the above mentioned reasons, Maritime NZ fund the DPA project, so that everyone can be fully prepared by borrowing a lifejacket from Manukau Cruising Club for just a gold coin donation. "The water is changing all the time, especially in the Manukau, and where there is water, there’s danger, whether you’re in it, on it or around it". said Commodore of the Manukau Cruising Club, Marie Vaughan.
Although the lifejacket access might be an issue for many people, this project is a valuable and innovative way of improving its accessibility.
I think this is a tremendous way of removing barriers for people to get a lifejacket when they need it.
... said the Minister of Transport, Hon. Phil Twyford.
This is the first attemption of a series of lifejacket lending hubs in the Auckland region, and also Maritime's NZ first time to fund such kind of initiative. As the first step has been done, Maritime NZ further goals to expand its lifejacket loan hubs at popular places around the Auckland coastline.
For the records, up to two-thirds of boaties who drown might have been saved if they were wearing lifejackets, since is considered as the number one solution of keeping safe on water.
However, Auckland region has already forced a law in which requires people to wear a lifejacket at all times, unless the skipper indicates they can take them off. But even in that case, there must be enough appropriately sized life-jackets on board for every passenger on the boat.
So many want to go out now, especially paddle boarders, kayakers and jet skiers and a lot of them don’t wear lifejackets. We often see people out there and they just don’t realize the risk they’re taking – things can change so quickly.
...continued Marie Vaughan, which announced excited to offer this new service to the local community.
During the establishment of the project, Manukau Cruising Club faced difficulties in enhancing small hard core of boaties to adopt the use of a lifejacket, since people who had been visiting the club for many years didn’t think they needed to wear lifejackets so far. "We have to get lifejacket use up and not just among boaties – rock fishers and stand-up paddlers, kayakers and jet skiers need to wear them as well." the Commodore of the Manukau Cruising Club further noted.
Concluding, through the project, Manukau Cruising Club and Maritime New Zealand educate people about the risks and the things they can do to keep themselves safe, while they aim to reach out to other boating clubs and spread the lifejacket's availability to every coast.
By the end of the year, people will be able to borrow lifejackets from Manukau Cruising Club, Fulton Swim School Patumahoe, DPA offices in Westhaven and Stanmore Bay Pool & Leisure Centre.
We’re very keen to test how effective this initiative is, because increasing lifejacket use is the number one priority for improving recreational boating safety and reducing boating fatalities.
...the Maritime NZ’s Deputy Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Sharyn Forsyth stated.