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New Lifejacket Laws

01 Dec 2017


South Australian lifejacket laws are changing to help keep our community safe when enjoying our states waterways.

New regulations will come into effect from the 1st December 2017 and all boaters need to know what to do to make sure that they, and their crew comply.

An awareness and education phase will be undertaken by DPTI Marine Safety Officers for 12 months, after which all boaters will need to comply.

Motor boats less than 4.8 metres in length

All persons on aboard must wear a lifejacket suitable for their area of operation, at all times when underway or at anchor.

Motor boats 4.8 m to 12 m in length

Children less than 12 years of age must wear a lifejacket at all times when on the open deck, at all times when underway or at anchor.

Persons of 12 years or more must wear a lifejacket when on the open deck during times of heightened risk. This includes the following:

When operating alone.
When operating after sunset or before sunrise.
When the boat is disabled.
When crossing an ocean bar.
At times of restricted visibility.
When in an area subject to a Gale, Storm force, Hurricane force, Severe thunderstorm or severe weather warning from the Bureau of meteorology.
When reasonably directed to do so by the master of the vessel.

Tender vessels

If a motor vessel is a tender to another vessel the occupants must wear a lifejacket in accordance with the requirements set out above, in accordance with the boat length.

Other craft

Surf ski’s, Paddleboards, including Stand-up paddleboards when operating on Protected waters all persons aboard must wear a lifejacket of level 100, 50 or 50S.

When operating in semi protected waters more than 400 metres from shore, a level 100 or level 50.

Dragon boats when operating in unprotected waters all person aboard must wear a lifejacket level 100, or level 50.
When operating in semi protected waters or protected waters, a level 100, 50 or 50S

Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade Voucher Exhange

The Minister for Transport announced the Old4New lifejacket upgrade voucher exchange program will begin in December 2017.

The voucher exchange will provide the opportunity for old, damaged, obsolete, unsuitable or otherwise non-compliant lifejackets to be exchanged for a $20.00  voucher that can be redeemed with a participating retailer when purchasing a new lifejacket.

It is anticipated the voucher exchange program will be undertaken over a two year period and will commence in December 2017.

The program follows changes to legislation for mandatory wearing of lifejackets and will be delivered throughout metropolitan and regional South Australia, including Kangaroo Island.

Dates of locations and participating retailers will be published in the very near future.