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Dramatic fall in boating fatalities

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/06/2016

Mr Foss paid tribute to the work done by the Safer Boating Forum and regional councils. © Getty Images Mr Foss paid tribute to the work done by the Safer Boating Forum and regional councils. There were only four recreational boating fatalities during the summer that's just ended compared with 20 the previous summer.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says targeted safety campaigns are hitting the mark.

"One death is too many but the reduced toll is a huge step in the right direction," he said.

"Research by Maritime NZ shows almost 80 per cent of recreational boaties wear a lifejacket at all times, up from 62 per cent in 2013."

Mr Foss paid tribute to the work done by the Safer Boating Forum and regional councils.

"The single biggest factor in saving recreational boaties' lives is wearing a lifejacket," he said.

"Last summer, in a world first, Maritime NZ used GPS to send text messages reminding boaties to wear a lifejacket.

"This `virtual coastguard' sent three million reminders and quite possibly saved lives."

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