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Coast Guard crews forced to share life jackets on rescue missions

Stations faced 'some delays' for new equipment

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Running short: Coast Guard crews held back by shortage. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Running short: Coast Guard crews held back by shortage. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Running short: Coast Guard crews held back by shortage. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Coast Guard crews are sharing life jackets after senior officials ignored the advice of a major supplier and took its old buoyancy aids out of operation.

This has curtailed search and rescue operations, with Coast Guard stations unable to deploy more than one boat at a time due to having too few life jackets.

Coast Guard stations were told to stop using their life jackets with immediate effect when all boat operations were suspended last November after a station reported an inflation issue with one of its personal flotation devices.