New lifejacket rules floated

LIFEJACKETS: Michael Currie said he thought reviewing the state's life jacket rules was a good thing as stricter rules could save someone's life.

LIFEJACKETS: Michael Currie said he thought reviewing the state's life jacket rules was a good thing as stricter rules could save someone's life.

STRICTER lifejacket conditions could result from consultation on the state’s on-board lifejacket rules. 

The state government and the Boating Industry Association announced last month it would be consulting with the community on whether the requirements should be strengthened.

Among the options being considered are adopting New South Wales standards, which require lifejackets to be worn  on vessels under 4.8 metres at night, in open waters and when boating alone; by children under 12 years of age at all times in a vessel under 4.8m, and in an open area of a vessel 4.8m to 8m while underway.

Also being considered is a switch to Victorian lifejacket requirements where in most situations everyone on board is required to wear a lifejacket at all times in vessels up to 4.8 metres and at times of heightened risk in vessels between 4.8 and 12 metres. 

All vessels operating in South Australian waters are required to have lifejackets on board for each person and it is a recommendation that children 12 years or younger wear lifejackets while on-board. 

The Port Lincoln Times ran a poll on whether people thought the state’s lifejacket rules needed to be strengthened and opinion was evenly split.

From the 39 votes, 23 people thought the state’s rules were strict enough, while 16 voted for stronger lifejacket rules.

Port Lincoln Boat Supplies’ Michael Currie, originally from Victoria, said he thought opening up consultation on the lifejacket rules was a good thing. 

He said the lifejackets people were required to have on board were “almost impossible” to put on in the water so it made sense for all those on board a boat to have to wear the lifejacket.

“I was surprised when I moved here, how lax the lifejacket rules were,” he said. 

Mr Currie said reviewing the rules could only be a good thing and as it could potentially save someone’s life.

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