In the past 18 months the NSW Government rolled out the biggest boating safety program this state has ever seen.

At the conclusion of the 2013/14 annual boating season there were some promising results in boating safety. Fatalities in NSW were down by 63 per cent compared with the previous season.

The “Wear a lifejacket: It never ruined a day on the water” campaign was complemented by the state’s first roving lifejacket van that travelled to boat ramps and on-water locations across NSW. The van saw 2809 old lifejackets handed in and 3019 new ones purchased from nearly 100 locations.

A recent observational study indicates the current overall wear rates for lifejackets is better than 30 per cent state-wide, which is more than three times higher than the previous figure of nine per cent published by the National Marine Safety Committee in 2007.

People need to get into the habit of putting on a lifejacket in the same way we all remember to put on a sunscreen.

For more information on the lifejacket campaign go to: lifejacketwearit.com.au