Please consider these safety suggestions:

  • It’s little use to you if you’re not wearing it
  • Anybody venturing out in any type of craft
    •  canoe/windsurfer etc should wear one
  • Everybody onboard needs to wear an approved PFD when crossing a coastal bar
  • Always wear one if boating alone (put a Personal Locating Beacon in your pocket as well, in case you fall overboard and the boat keeps going)
  • Always wear one at night
  • Always have a suitable jacket on young children. Very young children don’t float and sink immediately
  • PFDs must meet the current Australian Standard
  • PFDs must fit the intended wearer – eg if kids are on board, the vessel must be equipped with kid’s PFDs
  • PFDs will always have a label identifying the type, body mass flotation, and Australian Standard
  • If the label is illegible, the PFD is not suitable
  • PFD 1s, always have reflective tape, and also a whistle, which doubles as a sound signal device
  • Don’t wear a PFD 1 when water skiing, as their neck support might cause neck damage in a fall
  • Comfortable yoke-style PFD 1s are now available which use a CO² cartridge to inflate. These must be serviced as per manufacturer recommendations
  • Don’t leave the PFD in the plastic wrapper you bought them in. Have them readily accessible and ready for use in case of an emergency
  • Instruct all persons coming on your boat where the PFDs are, and how to put one on
  • Don’t use the pillow style PFDs as a seat cushion, as this reduces the life span of the stitching
  • The Water Police check life jacket conditions when they do vessel checks. If they find split seams, faded labels, etc, you will be warned/fined

A new flotation device determining system is coming in 2010, to replace the Type 1,2,3 codes. The new system, and the equivalent codes are:

Level 150 (equivalent to inflatable PFD1)
Level 100 (equivalent to PFD1)
Level 50 (equivalent to PFD 2)
Level 50S (equivalent to PFD 3)

PFD 1,2,3 type jackets will remain approved for many years, so no need to replace them now.

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