Wear It lifejackets campaign launched on Broads at Horning
A striking new campaign was launched today to encourage people to wear lifejackets while enjoying themselves out on the Broads this summer.
The Broads Authority has joined forces with the Broads Hire Boat Federation, holiday booking agents Blakes/Hoseasons and the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, which represents private boaters, to ensure the safety message gets across.
It follows the deaths of five people on the Broads since April last year. None of them was wearing a lifejacket and it is believed that four of the victims might still be alive if they had been wearing one.
Wear It posters will be displayed at boat yards around the Broads from Easter and hire boats will be issued with key rings displaying the safety message. Branded wind-up torches are also on sale in yacht stations and Broads Authority Information Centres.
Broads Authority Head of Safety Management Steve Birtles said: 'People underestimate how dangerous it can be on the water but we hope, by making this Wear It message visible all over the Broads this season, we will get the message across loud and clear.
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'One of the biggest dangers is when you're getting on and off a boat and can fall between the boat and the shore – but it's equally important when you're on deck or tying up. If you fall in, a lifejacket will more than double your chance of survival.
'Getting people to change their behaviour can be difficult but positive peer pressure can really work so please set a good example and wear your life jacket .Where you lead others will follow.'
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Tony Howes, Secretary of the BHBF said: 'Our members have always provided lifejackets for hiring parties when they take over their boats and fully support this campaign to encourage wearing them, particularly at times when they are at most risk of accidentally falling in the water.'
Richard Card, Chairman of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, said: 'Anything which prevents the needless loss of life is to be welcomed. The NSBA strongly supports the 'Wear It' initiative.'
John Dalgleish, General Manager for Hoseasons Boating and Blakes, comments: 'Everyone wants to have a fun, safe and enjoyable time on the Broads, which is why Hoseasons encourages all holidaymakers to wear a life jacket. We fully support the 'Wear It' campaign and will do all we can to help reinforce this lifesaving message.'