Compulsory Wearing of Lifejackets

Compulsory Wearing of Lifejackets

Have Your Say on the Compulsory Wearing of Lifejackets

A national discussion paper is asking the boating public to comment on the compulsory wearing of personal flotation devices (PFDs), commonly known as lifejackets, in order to develop a consistent national approach on this issue.

The discussion paper titled "National Principles to Guide in Assessing Risks to Determine Policy on the Compulsory Wearing of PFDs", was released by the National Marine Safety Committee at its Marine Safety Conference on the Gold Coast on 12 September.

This is a chance for the general public to not only have their say on whether pfds should be compulsory in certain situations, but what these situations are.

Public comment is open until 30 November 2006 - extended from original closing date.

Details and discussion paper on

Public comment is sought on: Which boats should be excluded from any mandatory wearing of PFDs and why?
What would be the risks that would cause their exclusion?

Six principles, risks etc are covered in some details.

1. The nature of the activity

2. The area of operation

3. The environment

4. Extra protection for inexperienced boaters

5. Type and length of boat

6. Propensity to take risks

Public comment is sought to assess the risks associated with these priciples. Are the listed principles sufficient?
Have all the risks been covered? Are the risks clear?
Do you think national consistency on the compulsory wearing of PFDs is necessary?
Please comment on NMSC’s approach to national consistency on the compulsory wearing of PFDs.

Public comment is sought on the following: Do you think education campaigns are sufficient to change recreational boater behaviour on the water? Why or why not? Do you think a combination of education and regulation is necessary to change recreational boater behaviour on the water? Why or why not?

A public comment form is available from the NMSC website. Forms and submissions should be forwarded to the NMSC Secretariat by email, letter or fax: Email address , Postal address PO Box R1871 Royal Exchange, SYDNEY NSW 1225 Fax Number (02) 9247 5203


Beavering away in the background......

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15375

Date Joined: 29/11/05


Thu, 2006-11-16 16:23

A lot of information to respond to there Terry. Personally I don't think that wearing them all the time for adults is necessary. Having said that I have had a fair few trips in from out wide in sloppy dangerous conditions where the boat is fine for an hour travelling at one speed but all of a sudden encounters one extra choppy wave and is thrown to its side where things could easily have turned sour. In light of this discussion I don't think that PFD's should be stored under the cabin as it makes it difficult for them to be reached. I guess that depends on boat make/model/design/size etc.

My personal pet hate is people who put their children on the front of the boat or bow rail. So many times I've seen boats hit other boats wake and the kids get a thrill out of the splash and the parents go on thinking it is fine when so easily they could have slipped off and become prop chowder.

I think all children under 15 should wear one in the river or at sea. I also think education campaigns help. The 'slow down, keep the waves friendly' advertisement was effective in my mind of reminding people about correct boating behaviour on the water.

Theres just so much to discuss with this topic, think I'll just leave it there for the meantime.


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