Government’s last minute reversal on life jackets

3 News 24 June 2012
3 News investigation has uncovered that the Government backed off making lifejacket wearing compulsory on all small water craft, just a week before it was to be signed off. The reversal was made despite official advice saying the change could help prevent 10 deaths a year. Now one maritime expert says the Government must take some responsibility for unnecessary deaths. On the country’s busiest waterway, the Waitemata Harbour, boaties continue to head out without wearing a lifejacket. But they don’t have to wear them – it’s only compulsory to carry them. “If we keep allowing people to drown themselves, unless we make a rule change and start affecting some compliance on it, we’re going to continue to see more deaths,” says editor of Professional Skipper Magazine Keith Ingram.