Victorian boaters and paddlers will attend free clinics in 2021 to learn how to service and maintain their lifejackets, helping them stay safer on the water.

The clinics will be offered as part of the Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) FloatSafe program pilot, starting on 17 January at Rhyll, Phillip Island.

“If you’ve fallen into the water unexpectedly and you get yourself in trouble, having a lifejacket that doesn’t inflate isn’t much good to you”, says Gareth Johnson, Manager – Recreational Boating Safety at MSV.

“If you own an inflatable lifejacket in Victoria, you should be performing regular checks to make sure it is going to work when you need it. This program is about familiarising boaters with their lifejackets so that they can conduct these checks effectively.”

MSV says that many lifejacket manufacturers now recommend owners complete an inflation check every three months and that lifejackets should be fully serviced by an accredited service agent every 3 to 5 years.

“At the clinics we’ll have our Boating Safety Education Officers guide attendees through the process of inspecting their own lifejackets, which should be both informative and fun. No prior knowledge of lifejackets is required,” says Gareth.

“The sessions are a great way to engage boating communities on some of the common issues we see with lifejackets. They’re also a timely reminder of the importance of maintaining lifejackets through the busy summer boating season and beyond.”

In addition to getting face-to-face education, FloatSafe attendees will receive a $30 voucher from a local retailer to go towards a new lifejacket, lifejacket service kit, or other safety equipment.

More information, terms and conditions, event booking links available on our Wear a Lifejacket FloatSafe webpage.