NSW Life Jacket Rules & Regulations

Date Posted:25 September 2013 

The governing rules for the use of pfds and lifejackets on water craft vessels for all NSW navigable waters were tightened from the 1st of November 2010 to help prevent further loss of life on the water.

A 1 year educational period began and from the 1st of November 2011 and compliance efforts increased along with penalties for the failure to comply with the rules.

Boating Incidents in New South Wales – statistical report for the ten-year period ending 30th June 2012 provides an in-depth analysis of all boating incident stats for the period 2002-03 to 2011-12. It also examines any general longer term trends in both fatal and serious injury incident rates all the way back to 1992-93.

During the 10 year period, there were 167 boating fatalities and 575 serious injuries, from 3754 incidents. Water fatality rates remain much too high, even though the report found there has been a large decrease in the number of recreational boating fatal incident rate since 1992.

The report also provides compelling evidence of the value of pfd / lifejackets, including good evidence of a significant decrease in bar crossing deaths since compulsory lifejacket wearing requirements were implemented for all vessels crossing bars. On 1st of November 2010, introduced laws were updated to require the mandatory wearing of lifejackets in a number of high risk situations, especially by those in small vessels and especially children under 12 years old.

These changes have come about after a very extensive consultation with much of the boating community as possible which saw just over 86% support for the recommended changes. The latest minimum requirements for wearing a pfd/lifejacket can be found by WEAR IT NSW MARITIME.

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