Plea to boaties: wear a lifejacket, save your life

14 December 2014

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay has put out a call to boaties to wear a lifejacket and help save their life.

“I am pleading with the boating community, wear a lifejacket every time you take the boat out on the water,” Mr Gay said.

“Today, we’ve seen the devastating and unnecessary loss of two lives in a boating accident in Botany Bay.

“I understand three men were fishing in a small boat when they hit rocks, causing their vessel to capsize. Two men died and one man survived with injuries. None of the men were wearing lifejackets.

“This is a deeply tragic accident and my thoughts are with the friends and family of the men involved.

“Sadly, this tragedy is a stark reminder to all boaties that accidents do happen and when they do, it’s often too late to put on a lifejacket.

"The holiday season marks the start of more recreational boating activity and it’s the skipper’s responsibility to ensure all those on board are wearing a life jacket.

“We know nine out of ten people who drowned while boating were not wearing a lifejacket and I’ll continue doing whatever I need to until every boatie is wearing one.

"Our package of safety measures includes our roving lifejacket van, which physically takes lifejackets to ramps and exchanges the old bulky variety for new slimline versions.

“Last season we saw more than 3,000 lifejackets exchanged and we’re expecting to see many more this summer.

“We’ve also ramped up our boating safety program, which is the biggest this state has ever seen. The program includes an increase in frontline Boating Safety and Education Officers, a major safety campaign and a zero-tolerance approach to wearing a lifejacket when required.

“We are seeing improvements with lifejacket wear rates up, and we recently recorded our best boating safety result in 20 years, but every life lost on the water is one life too many.

“We need all boaties to get on board, when on the water put on a lifejacket, it might just save your life.”

For more information go to

MEDIA: Emma Higginson 0467 743 192

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