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Check your boat safety and wear a lifejacket on the water

Thursday, 27 September 2018

As boaters across the state head to the waters this boating season, they are urged to ensure they carry suitable safety equipment and wear a lifejacket on the water.

Flares and emergency position-indicating radio beacon’s (EPIRB) are the most common items to expire on boats, but inflatable lifejackets also need to be checked every year to make sure that they are going to work if you need them.

Lifejackets, or Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) should be in good condition and not have any tears, cuts or any straps that are frayed.

Inflatable lifejackets are very popular because they are easy to wear but they can suffer wear and damage from normal use.

Even one which has been in storage can have leaks from the folds of the bladder, so if you are getting your boat out for spring and summer inflate them to check they are working properly before taking to the water.

In some cases, inflatable lifejackets may also need to be checked by a service agent, this will vary between brands.

Boat operators have a duty of care for their own safety, the vessel, and the safety of all persons who may be affected by their actions.

Current legislation requires all persons aboard to wear a lifejacket when in a vessel which is up to 4.8 metres in length, and children of or under 12 years of age on vessels 4.8 to 12 metres.

Further to this, all persons must wear their lifejacket on an open area of boats 4.8 to 12 metres at times of “heightened risk” as set out in legislation.

They must be worn on tender vessels and dragon boats. They must be also be used on surf skis and paddleboards when operating more than 400m from the shore or on protected waters.

For more information on boating safety and for a full list of safety tips visit