Coastguard's highly successful Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign is back in time for summer and visiting communities throughout the country from 2 December.
This will be the second year the popular boating safety initiative has 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and enjoyable boating, the concept behind the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade is straightforward: bring your old, damaged or out-of-date lifejacket to the Old4New van and receive a discount on a new, quality Hutchwilco Lifejacket.
"Lifejackets save lives — it's as simple as that," says Coastguard New Zealand CEO Patrick Holmes.
"Two-thirds of recreational boating fatalities would likely be prevented if lifejackets were worn. A lifejacket has never ruined a day on the water.
"The Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign provides an easy and accessible way for people to ensure they have the correct number of fit for purpose lifejackets to wear on their boat."
More than 7000 lifejackets have been traded in over the last three years of the campaign, meaning thousands of kiwis are now safer out on the water.
For those who aren't able to come to the Old4New van, retailer Boating and Outdoors is also supporting the initiative by offering the Old4New trade in deal at their stores nationwide during specific weeks of the campaign.
The reach of the Old4New lifejacket Upgrade even goes beyond New Zealand shores, with good quality, traded-in lifejackets that meet New Zealand standards shipped to communities in need.
"Through our partnerships with Matson Shipping we're able to send these lifejackets to at-risk communities in the Pacific Islands," says Holmes.
"Since the start of the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade in 2014, close to 1500 lifejackets 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 Lifejacket Upgrade is funded by Maritime New Zealand with support from the Southern Trust in conjunction with Hutchwilco and the Giltrap Group.
The the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade will be in Hamilton on Friday December 22 from 1pm to 4pm at Fish City Hamilton, corner of Kahikatea Drive and Latham Court.