This week International boating experts will gather in Sydney to talk about the next steps for the life jacket safety agenda in Australia.
The International Lifejacket Forum will take place from 1 May at the Australian National Maritime Museum and has attracted panel members from across the UK, France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
There were 167 boating fatalities and 575 serious injuries as a result of 3754 incidents over the past 10 years, according to the latest Transport for NSW maritime safety figures.
Office of Boating Safety and Maritime Affairs General Manager Howard Glenn said more than 93 per cent of those drowned in boating incidents were not wearing a life jacket.
'The majority of these people would have survived the incident had they put on a lifejacket. Experience shows us that lifejackets can save lives for those people who are unlucky enough to end up in the water when boating,' Mr Glenn said.
'The International Lifejacket Forum is our chance to consider what the next steps could be when it comes to lifejacket safety, enforcement and education.'
The panel has attracted some of the leading names in international boating safety, including:
Britain’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution sea safety manager Peter Chennell,
chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council Jean Murray, Public Education Director of the Canadian Lifesaving Society Barbara Byers,
and former French naval officer and head of Societe Nationale de Sauvetage’s prevention arm Pierre Brugnon.
'People don’t expect to run into trouble on the water – and that’s exactly why we want slipping a lifejacket on before getting onboard a vessel to be second nature,' Mr Glenn said.
'A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water – but it could easily save your life.'
The forum is part of Marine13, the first Australian conference to bring the boating, marina and boating safety industries together.
Marine13 has attracted more than 400 attendees and will feature workshops, exhibitions and discussion groups at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Transport for NSW is the principal sponsor of the Marine13 conference.
The International Lifejacket Forum will be held on 1 May at the Australian National Maritime Museum. The forum is by invitation but Marine13 invitees are welcome to attend.
by Neil Patchett
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1:50 AM Mon 29 Apr 2013GMT
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