Lifejackets are lifesavers 

Inflatable PFD 1 Lifejacket

 

Statistics in NSW show that the majority of boating fatalities are due to drowning, and that most of those involved were not wearing a lifejacket. Accidents can happen to even the most experienced of recreational boaters. Legally, the skipper is responsible for the safety of the boat and the safety of all onboard.

Lifejackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on any vessel. A lifejacket must be carried for each person on board. Lifejackets must be in good condition and properly maintained. They also must be the correct size for the wearer.

Lifejacket types

Type 1 – also known as Level 150 and Level 100

This provides the highest level of buoyancy, designed to keep the wearer’s head above and out of the water when unconscious. They are mainly used when boating in open waters and alpine waters. They must comply with relevant Australian or overseas standards approved by NSW Maritime. There are two kinds of type 1 – those with fixed buoyancy and those which are inflatable.

Inflatable Lifejackets

Inflatable lifejackets are C02 inflated. They are lighter and less cumbersome than conventional foam lifejackets. Some wet weather jackets and windproof vests have built-in inflatable lifejackets. There is a need for detailed crew and passenger briefing on their operation.

Inflatable lifejackets must be serviced annually by an accredited service centre or the original manufacturer. Checks will be carried out to ensure the bladder, reflective tapes, buckles and straps are in working order, and that the inflation system and oral inflation tube are operating correctly.

It is worthwhile to periodically manually inflate each jacket with the oral inflation tube, and leave it overnight. This will determine whether there are any leaks in the bladder. Remember that if the temperature in the room decreases overnight, this will affect the pressure in the bladder, so take this into consideration when assessing the air in the jacket the next morning.

Type 1 inflatable lifejackets are not recommended for children.
NOTE : Lifejackets that rely solely on oral inflation for buoyancy are not approved in NSW.

Type 2 – also known as Level 50

This is a buoyancy vest and is not designed to keep the wearer’s head above and out of the water but are manufactured using high-visibility colours and in comfortable styles. They are mainly used when boating in more sheltered enclosed or inland waters.

Type 3 – also known as Level 50S

This is a buoyancy vest with the same overall buoyancy as a type 2 lifejacket. It is not required to be made in high-visibility colours. A type 3 lifejacket is mainly used for aquatic sports such as wakeboarding and waterskiing where comfort and style are important.

What lifejackets must I carry on my boat?

Most recreational vessels in NSW must carry an appropriate size and type of lifejacket for each person on board. They must be stored or placed to allow quick and easy access. Lifejackets must be either visible to passengers or their location clearly marked by an unobstructed and clearly visible sign saying LIFEJACKETS (red lettering on a white background). Stickers are available from NSW Maritime offices and service centres.

Open (ocean) waters (including crossing ocean bars)

A lifejacket must be worn when crossing an ocean bar. A lifejacket Type 1 must be carried for everyone on board for all vessels except Outrigger Canoes which are permitted to carry a lifejacket type 1, 2 or 3.

Enclosed waters (excluding Alpine waters)

Unless there is a requirement that a lifejacket must be worn, a lifejacket Type 1, 2 or 3 must be carried.

Alpine waters

Unless there is a requirement that a lifejacket must be worn, a lifejacket Type 1 or 2 must be carried.

When must lifejackets be worn and what type of lifejacket can be worn?

Compulsory lifejacket wearing requirements came into effect in Nov 2010. Lifejackets are required to be worn as shown below.

When must lifejackets be worn and what type of lifejacket can be worn?

Compulsory lifejacket wearing requirements came into effect in Nov 2010. Lifejackets are required to be worn as shown below.

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