In response to the alarming drowning statistics, Transport for NSW has launched a lifejacket multimedia campaign. In the past decade, nine out of 10 people who drowned while boating in NSW were not wearing a lifejacket. Nearly 2 million people in NSW go boating each year. "It's about getting people into the habit of putting on a lifejacket every time they go out on the water, especially those in small craft, the same way we all put on sunscreen," says Maritime Management Centre general manager Howard Glenn. A key part of the strategy will be to dispel the myth that lifejackets are too big and bulky to wear. The campaign will target a wide audience. A lifejacket road show will be launched in the coming weeks and a lifejacket vehicle will tour boat ramps around the state and encourage people to exchange their old lifejackets for new ones. A zero-tolerance approach will be taken by boating safety officers and Marine Area Command with anyone not wearing a lifejacket when required to by law. At the same time, a "lifejacket loan" project will be established. See lifejacketwearit.com.au.
About 40 Riviera boats and their Sydney owners are expected at the Bling on Christmas event at Pittwater from November 29 to 31. To help get into the summer boating mode, Riviera has planned a weekend of fun and friendship. Boats will arrive at 5pm at Coaster's Retreat, aka The Basin, pick up a mooring, anchor (limited space) or raft up. If you want to join the cruise from Sydney Harbour or further south, an escorted Riviera convoy will leave Watsons Bay at 3pm on November 29. Contact R Marine Sydney, 9363 0000, firstname.lastname@example.org, or R Marine Pittwater, 9979 7000, ldmriviera.com.au.
Since exiting receivership and returning to private ownership in March 2012, Riviera has made more than $58 million in new boat sales in the past five months alone. Rodney Longhurst bought the facility on Queensland's Gold Coast this year. For the financial year ending June 30 this year, 55 per cent of Riviera's production was exported. "It is extremely positive for us to see export sales grow, especially at a time when there is a lot of talk about the future of Australian manufacturing," he says. The company is now looking to increase staff numbers.