Campaign Urges NZ Boaters to Wear Lifejackets

It's summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so Maritime New Zealand's new ad campaign is timed to the busiest boating season there.

Maritime New Zealand launched a new ad campaign Dec. 9 reminding boaters – men in particular – to wear their lifejackets while on the water. The campaign draws on MNZ's latest research, which shows that men 40 and older are least likely to wear them. The campaign uses humor and American 1980s TV show nostalgia to remind them that having a lifejacket on board but not wearing it won't save them or their companions if something goes wrong.

Ninety percent of boating fatilities are men, the agency's Education and Communications Manager Pania Shingleton said. "Being close to your lifejacket is like being close to your bulletproof vest: It's just not close enough," Shingleton said. "People think if they have an accident, they'll have time to put their lifejacket on, but boating tragedies tell a different story."

Research on the campaign commissioned by MNZ found that 75 percent of boaters said they took some action after seeing the ad, and 29 percent said they're now wearing their lifejackets on a regular basis.

For more information about summer boating safety, visit maritimenz.govt.nz/lifejackets.

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