Lifejackets are the most important item of safety equipment on any recreational vessel. In NSW, 7 out of 10 people who drown while boating are not wearing a lifejacket.
Lifejackets for children
Inflatable lifejackets are not recommended for children aged under 12 years. If a child is wearing an auto-inflating lifejacket when playing, the lifejacket may inflate if it gets wet.
Lifejacket servicing and care
Inflatable lifejackets need extra care. An inflatable lifejacket can only save your life if it's in good working order. If it's not, you or one of your passengers could drown.
Keeping yourself and your passengers safe means being prepared and using good judgement when you're out on the water.
Safe boating when you're older
People aged 70+ are over-represented in boating trauma, accounting for about in 1 in 5 fatalities. It's important to take extra care so you can keep enjoying your time on the water safely.
On the water, weather conditions can change very quickly, so it's important to be prepared and keep a close eye on the forecast before and during your trip, so you can get home safely.
Water temperatures below 15 degrees are considered dangerous. If you fall into cold water, cold shock can set in very quickly and you are at high risk of catching hyperthermia.
As the skipper, you must keep a proper lookout – by sight and hearing – at all times. This helps you judge your situation and the risk of collision. This is essential to keeping everyone safe on the water.
Towing involves a vessel pulling a person and watersport equipment with a rope (or line) to skim on the surface of the water.
Safe Vessel Speeds
Always drive at a safe speed when boating. Speeding incidents are likely to be serious and account for about one in 10 fatal or serious injury incidents, so slow down to ensure a great day on the water.
Drinking and boating don’t mix
When you're on the water, alcohol can affect your coordination, judgment, vision, reaction time and balance more than when you're on land. Waves, motion, vibration, engine noise, weather, wind and spray can all multiply the effects of alcohol.
Increasing the visibility of your paddle craft is also important. Consider wearing a combination of bright colours across your clothing, lifejacket, paddle and craft to best ensure you are seen.