Author: Boat Accessories Australia Date Posted: 16 February 2023
The numbers don’t lie; life jackets save lives. In the past 10 years from 2005 - 2015, 473 Australians drowned while using a boat or watercraft. Of these, less than 10% were wearing a life jacket and 14% had a life jacket on board.
Different regulations on the wearing of life jackets apply in each state and territory. The federal government’s Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is responsible for regulating commercial and domestic vessels, shipping registrations and marine orders, navigation, search and rescue, marine environment and international engagement plus overseeing each of the state’s marine safety agencies.
Each agency comes under a different state department. If you don’t already know, familiarise yourself with your state’s regulations on life jackets to ensure you comply in all boating situations. It’s important to remember that not all life jackets are the same. Some life jacket types are suitable for boating in protected waters but are not compliant for unprotected waters. Boat owners must take responsibility for keeping themselves and their passengers safe by providing the correct safety equipment. On the spot fines can apply.
Agency Name: Roads and Maritime Services
Life Jacket Requirements: Every person (driver and passengers) must wear an approved life jacket while on board most vessels. On enclosed waters, the life jacket must be Level 50s+ and in open waters, the life jacket must be a level 100 or greater.
Agency Name: Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
Life Jacket Requirements: One approved PFD for each person on board all water types. Level 100+ life jackets are required on open and intermediate waters while a level 50 is suitable for inland waters.
Agency Name: Maritime Safety Queensland
Life Jacket Requirements: A lifejacket is required for each person on board, Level 50s+ for smooth waters and Level 100+ for beyond partially smooth waters.
Agency Name: Department of Planning & Infrastructure
Life Jacket Requirements: One PFD (Level 50S+) is required for all passengers on vessels in protected waters and semi-protected. In unprotected waters, a Level 100+ life jacket is required for each occupant.
Agency Name: Marine and Safety Tasmania
Life Jacket Requirements: It is compulsory for all people on board a vessel measuring less than six metres under power to wear a life jacket. Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket regardless of the vessel’s length.
Agency Name: Maritime Safety Victoria
Life Jacket Requirements: On coastal and shelters waters all people on board must wear a Level 100+ life jacket. On inland water, all people on board must wear a Level 50S+ jacket.
Agency Name: Department of Transport
Life Jacket Requirements: A life jacket must be carried for each person over the age of 12 months on board a recreational vessel being operated in unprotected waters. Level 100 and above are the only life jackets approved for unprotected waters.
If you are unsure of the requirements, contact the friendly team at Boat Accessories Australia by calling 1300 308 161 or send an email.
When to wear a type 1 lifejacketBy: Glen Rolfe on 22 June 2023How far offshore do you need to be to wear a type 1 vest in open waters in NSW and if there is more than 1 person onboard do you have to have them on or just in the boat ?
Boat Accessories Australia Response
It seems there is not a specific distance (in kms) offshore when you need to wear a type 1 (now labelled Level 100) lifejacket, they just say to wear one "in open waters”. Everyone on board must wear this type lifejacket at all times in these waters.
Please see below a bit more information copied from the NSW gov website:
• Enclosed Waters are navigable waters enclosed by land or a port. They include inland and coastal rivers and lakes, creeks and lagoons, enclosed coastal bays, ports and harbours, estuaries, dams and all alpine waters.
• Open Waters are navigable waters that are not enclosed by land or not within a river, bay, harbour or port. They include coastal and ocean waters.
On powerboats of any size, you must have the following type of lifejackets for each person on board:
• Enclosed Waters: Level 50s+ (similar to the former Type 3)
*You must wear a lifejacket when you're alone on your boat (including when you have children aged under 12 on your vessel) or at night (between sunset and sunrise)
• Open Waters: Level 100+ (similar to the former Type 1)
*Everyone must wear a lifejacket at all times
For more info visit the NSW gov website or contact them directly: https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/waterways-safety-and-rules/lifejackets-and-safety-equipment
Thank youBy: Paul Hulford on 27 January 2020Super reference.