Author: Boat Accessories Australia Date Posted: 30 November 2017
Whilst the requirements for what type of life jacket must be worn, where and when differ depending on the body of water and location, the one constant is that life jackets save lives. A National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) study has shown you are ‘two times more likely to survive’ a boating incident if you are wearing a life jacket. Due to the importance of life jackets in marine safety and ongoing product improvements, jacket standards are reviewed regularly in Australia.
Tragically the statistics aren’t exclusive to Australia. Worldwide the majority of fatal boating accidents occur from drowning and around four out of five were not wearing a life jacket. There is an international movement to increase the number of people wearing life jackets called Life Jacket Wear. This movement encourages people to make it a habit to put on a life jacket whenever they get on a boat.
The International Lifejacket Wear principles were developed at a Sydney conference in 2013. Maritime safety organisations from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and the United Kingdom were the first to start promoting the cause. The United States has since joined.
The word ‘lifejacket’ has now been adopted as an internationally recognised term for personal lifesaving devices.
For more information about the principles of the movement, visit International Lifejacket Wear.
Life jackets have come a long way. You no longer need to wear bulky, hot jackets that restrict your movement and ability to fish. Life jackets are now much more comfortable and the technology has continued to improve so that now we have self-inflating jackets that are both flatter and more lighter. The jackets work by inflating when water is detected. A Co2 cylinder is pierced and releases air that fills the bladder of the life jacket to create the buoyancy.
Take care to select the correct jacket for the person wearing it. If a jacket is too big or too small, it can’t do its job properly. For more information, read up on Choosing a Properly Fitting Life Jacket.
There is no need to try on a life jacket before purchasing. If you know the weight and height of the person who will be wearing the jacket, you can find the right fit online. We have jackets to fit young children to adults. We can even outfit dogs with a life jacket, from small to extra large dogs.
Remember, most self-inflating life jackets need to be serviced regularly. Some manufacturers will allow jackets to be self-serviced and professionally serviced every third year by an authorised service agent. As regulations continue to get stricter, manufacturers are now developing an indicator system to identify when a life jacket is inoperable or needs servicing.
If you are self-servicing your life jacket, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Most manufacturers have a copy on their website but if you can’t find it, feel free to contact us. For more information, read about Self Checking and Servicing your Inflatable Life Jacket.
If you have any questions about life jackets, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team at Boat Accessories Australia on 1300 308 161 or send us an email.