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Rotorua incident highlights importance of wearing lifejackets correctly

An incident at a Rotorua lake highlights the importance of boaties and other water users wearing a correctly fitting lifejacket, says Waikato Regional Council.

A boatie went missing after he somehow ended up in the water yesterday afternoon without a lifejacket at Lake Rotoiti and didn’t resurface. It’s unclear from reports whether the lifejacket came off when he went in or if he couldn’t get to one that was thrown to him.

“This very unfortunate incident emphasises the importance of having a properly fitting lifejacket and wearing it when out on the water,” says the council’s maritime service team leader Richard Barnett.

“Lifejackets should fit snugly without being too tight. If you can't make your life jacket fit snugly, then it's too big.”

Maritime New Zealand’s website says crotch straps are also recommended in situations other than very calm water.

“Even when tightly secured, lifejackets have a tendency to ride up on the wearer if there is any wave action. Crotch straps are mandatory for all child-sized lifejackets and in some yacht racing situations,” the website says.

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