Leisure craft owners are being invited to get their lifejackets checked free of charge by the RNLI at this weekend’s Drogheda Maritime Festival on the East Coast of Ireland.

All are welcome to visit the RNLI stand on North Quay, Drogheda Port, this Saturday and Sunday, 20-21 June, to get their lifejackets assessed.

Personal safety equipment is the focus of this year’s RNLI Sea Safety awareness campaign at the festival.

Gerry Kelly, Clogherhead RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer said: ‘Come and visit us at our stand where safety advice for all water users including fishermen, motor-boaters and sailors will be available.’

He added: ‘A lifejacket will buy you vital time in the water and could save your life, but only if you’re wearing it.’

Research conducted on behalf of the RNLI reveals that 98% of sailors and motor boaters own lifejackets, but less than half actually claim to always wear them when on board.

Gerry added: ‘In an emergency there is not always time to make sure your lifejackets are in working order and it’s the wrong time to discover that you do not know how to operate one.

‘The RNLI Roadshow is a chance for all water users to bring their lifejackets along for a visual check as well as to learn how to operate and maintain them properly.

‘We want to help the boating community and all water users to become as familiar with their lifejackets as they would any other piece of personal protective kit such as waterproof jackets.’