Don't forget youre personal flotation device

19 December 2013

With summer holidays in full swing, remember that wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), or lifejacket, is mandatory for some operations but always recommended.

Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) Senior Transport Safety Compliance Officer, Philip Moffatt said PFDs are an essential item of marine safety equipment.

"Before you go out onto the water you must make sure that there are sufficient PFDs for all passengers on your boat, that they in a good serviceable condition (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) and are suitable for the activities you have in mind," he said.

"When choosing a PFD try it on in the shop before your buy it and make sure you choose the appropriate weight and size range."

“It is critically important when choosing a PFD for young children that it is correctly fitted and has a crutch strap so that the child cannot slip out of it."

"Remember, if you can’t provide a suitably sized PFD, toddlers under about one year of age shouldn’t go out on the water."

"The correct fit for a PFD should be snug without confining or riding up."

Mr Moffatt said it is recommended children wear a PFD when they are in any open area of a vessel because if there is an incident you may not have the opportunity to help them.

"Don’t wait for an emergency to wear your PFD – high risk situations can happen very quickly out on the water," he said.

"The skipper is responsible for advising passengers when to put on a PFD."

“At the very least a PFD should be worn at the first sign of bad weather, when boating alone, during restricted visibility or at night and when operating in unfamiliar waters”.

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Video: Choosing the right PFD

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