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Life jackets on as boating season begins

2 October 2014

With the weather warming up and summer just around the corner, boaters are reminded to keep safe on the water and wear a lifejacket.

This October long weekend is seen as the traditional start of the boating season.

Many vessels are stored during the winter months and boaters are now preparing to launch their vessels.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) Director Transport Safety Regulation, Trent Rusby urges boaters to be safe while out on the waters and wear a personal floatation device (PFD), known commonly as a lifejacket.

“To avoid tragedy on our coastline and along the River Murray a PFD remains the seasons must have safety accessory.”

“A suitable PFD must be worn at all times by anyone in a canoe or kayak, sailboard or similar small unpowered vessel, when kite surfing or operating a personal watercraft, as well as when water skiing.”

Mr Rusby highlighted that in other situations a suitable PFD must be carried for every person onboard the vessel.

“The PFDs carried must be sized to correctly fit each person on board, stored on the vessel to be readily accessible and remember that the inflatable models must be regularly serviced by a qualified provider.”

“Why wait until an emergency situation arises before donning your PFD – high risk situations can happen very quickly out on the water.”

“Wearing a PFD may save your life and encourage other boaters to follow your lead, increasing the safety for everyone enjoying a day out on the water.”

Mr Rusby reminded boaters of the six-month boat registration option, which will start on 3 October and be available for vessels up to seven metres in length as well as personal watercrafts such as jet skis.

Boat users can save money by only registering their vessels in the spring/summer months.

For more information about personal flotation devices and particularly fitting lifejackets to children the marine safety pages on sa.gov.au.

For a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, the Personal Watercraft Safety Reference Guide or the Kayaks and Canoes Safety Reference Guide please telephone 1300 183 046, or email dpti.recreationalboatingunit@sa.gov.au.

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