BOAT skippers can replace old or damaged lifejackets at Mindarie Marina this weekend.
The Department of Transport will be offering $65 lifejackets in exchange for old, damaged, obsolete or foam-filled lifejackets on Saturday.
Safety education manager Laurie Adams said it would be the first time the Old4New lifejacket upgrade program, delivered in conjunction with the Royal Life Saving Society of WA, would be available at the marina.
“In the past two years more than 2000 lifejackets and vouchers, to upgrade at a retail store, have been provided as part of the program – taking the same number of unsafe lifejackets off boats in WA,” he said.
“The aim of the program is to change boater behaviour and increase the number of people wearing a lifejacket because the statistics show those wearing one have a greater chance of survival in an emergency on the water.
“Marine investigation data shows that in 11 of the 18 deaths (61 per cent) on WA waters in the past two years, wearing a lifejacket could have saved their life.”
Mr Adams said the arrival of spring next month would see skippers returning to the water after a winter break and they should check their safety gear, the boat and its equipment were in working order.
For more information, read the guidelines at www.transport.wa.gov.au/lifejackets.
Old4New representatives will be at the boat ramp at Mindarie Marina from 9am to 10am on August 25.