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Life jackets have already saved the lives of at least 11 people around the country in 2014, including three off Otago Peninsula, Maritime New Zealand says.
The three boating enthusiasts, all wearing life jackets gear, were rescued after their boat capsized off the peninsula on January 5.
A 49-year-old fisherman who was not wearing life jacket when he fell from a boat in Wellington harbour the same day is presumed drowned.
Last year 19 people died as a result of recreational boating accidents, compared with 14 in 2012.
A lack of life jackets or ill-fitting life jackets was a likely factor in 13 deaths.