This afternoon I was in New Brighton, attending the launch of ‘Useless if Not Worn’ campaign in Wirral. The ‘useless unless worn’ campaign has been set up by the National Water Safety Forum, with the RNLI and Coastguard also now adopting the initiative.
Here in Wirral the initiative is being run by Wirral’s Beach Lifeguard Service, and they are urging sailors, jetskiers, transiting divers and all other motorboat users to wear their life jackets in a bid to stay safe. The campaign encourages boaters to always wear their lifejackets – whatever the conditions.
Research carried out by the RNLI has found that 99 per cent of people surveyed carry a lifejacket but only 49 per cent actually wear it. RNLI crew members, whether they’re training or out on a shout, always wear lifejackets. It’s a rule informed by years of experience. They know that, whatever the weather, the sea is extremely unpredictable and can turn at a moment’s notice. They see people caught out all the time, people who’ve risked or even lost their lives.
The latest research, in conjunction with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, shows that boaters are unaware of the risk of ‘cold water shock’ if they fall in. A lifejacket will double your chances of survival and will aid you being located. AS the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety Councillor i believe we must listen to the experts on this issue – when you are at sea, always wear a lifejacket, It will buy you vital time in the water and could save your life, but only if you’re wearing it.