ENSURING boaters are equipped with functional lifejackets is the aim of a series of self-service clinics currently being run across the state.
The clinics are run by the NSW Government and help to promote the awareness of the maintenance requirements for inflatable lifejackets.
Keen boaters attended the free clinic in Port Macquarie today, January 5, and were run through a full service check of their lifejacket and general safety advice and information.
"We've had a steady flow of people coming through today which is promising," Maritime North boating education team leader Gavin Beck said.
"The clinics are all about raising awareness of servicing inflatable lifejackets and making sure they're functional.
"There are a lot of people who don't realise lifejackets need to be serviced each year or as often as the manufacturer advises."
Servicing inflatable lifejackets is an annual legal requirement in NSW and inflatable lifejackets require extra care to ensure they will inflate in an emergency.
"The aim of these clinics is to help the boating public service their lifejacket while also providing them with parts that need to be replaced or even recommending a new jacket," Mr Beck said.
"The public are walked through the service check and made aware of how to check their lifejacket will function properly in an emergency."
Dangerous weather conditions along the coast recently have seen a number of emergency situations unfold on the water including the death of a Sydney woman who was pulled from treacherous surf at Park Beach, Coffs Harbour on January 3 and the rescue of three people after their boat capsized on Lake Innes on Monday (January 3).
"The service of lifejackets is very high on our priority list because they can mean all the difference in an emergency situation," Mr Beck said.
"Lifejackets are the most vital piece of equipment in a boating or water emergency and we need to make sure that they function properly when they're needed."
This series of clinics is also the first time boating educators have been able to engage with the public in nine months.
"Because of COVID and travel restrictions we haven't been able to hold the clinics. We're doing our best now to get out there and help the public with boating safety where we can."
The Forster clinic will be held from 11am to 3pm at Forster Boat Ramp at Off Beach Road on January 10.
Clinics will also be held at Port Stephens Little Beach boat ramp on January 11 and Lake Macquarie's Blacksmiths boat ramp on January 12 from 11am to 3pm.
Clinics will continue at Callala Bay Boat Ramp from 10am to 2pm on January 14 and at Shoalhaven Heads River Road Boat Ramp on January 15, Shell Cove Harbour Boat Ramp on January 16, Bowna Reserve Boat Ramp on January 22.
The last clinic will be held at Echuca Moarna Markets on January 23 from 9am to 1pm.
For more information on the upcoming clinics visit the website here.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.