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23 Apr 2018

Why wear a lifejacket?

Posted in Reference Info by Admin 0

Most drownings in boating accidents involve craft under 6 metres.  All passengers on board boats under 6 metres should wear a lifejacket, unless the skipper has assessed this is not necessary, due to the low risk at the time (but we recommend that non-swimmers and children wear lifejackets at all times).

Most accidents occur suddenly with no warning. There may be no time to grab a lifejacket unless it is close at hand, and it is extremely difficult or impossible to put on a lifejacket securely in the water.

Some lifejackets provide more than flotation. They allow a person in the water to keep still, thereby conserving energy, which will help to delay the onset of hypothermia. The body loses heat through water three times faster than out of the water. Closed foam-type PFDs also provide thermal protection on cold days and help to prevent injury during collisions.

Lifejacket Types
Workplace lifejackets are in a category of their own requiring specialist design and advice. These lifejackets are normally sourced from retailers providing a range of marine industrial safety equipment from life rafts to distress flares.

The new Australian Standard for Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) – AS 4758 was introduced into recreational boat legislation nationally on 1 July 2010.

 

PFDs made to AS 4758 will display these new levels:

  • Level 150 – a new level of PFD and suitable for offshore use
  • Level 100 – similiar to PFD Type 1 and the minimum requirement for offshore use
  • Level 50 – similiar to PFD Type 2
  • Level 50S (Special Purpose) – similiar to PFD Type 3

Prior to AS 4758 being approved by the National Marine Safety Committee for introduction into the recreational boat safety equipment regulations nationally by 1 July 2010, PFDs were commonly advertised and promoted by retailers as:

  • PFD Type 1 – “PFD1”
  • PFD Type 2 – “PFD2”
  • PFD Type 3 – “PFD3”

 

Personal flotation device Type 1
A PFD that complies with:

  • Australian Standard AS 1512—1996, Personal flotation devices—Type 1 or any previous version of that Standard, or
  • one of the following recognised standards for personal flotation devices, or types of personal flotation devices, that has been approved by a recognised appraiser:
    • European Standard EN 399-1993Lifejackets – 275N,
    • European Standard EN 396-1993Lifejackets – 150N,
    • European Standard EN 395-1993Lifejackets – 100N,
    • Canadian General Standards CAN/CGSB-65.11-M88 (for adults) and CAN/CGSB-65.15-M88Personal Flotation Devices for children,
    • Underwriters Laboratories Standards UL 1180 – Fully inflatable recreational personal flotation devices,
    • New Zealand Standards NZ5823:2001 Type 401, or
  • any standard or specifications approved by the Maritime Authority.In this Schedule, recognised appraiser means:
    • a certifying body accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS–ANZ), or
    • a laboratory with National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation, or
    • a notified body in accordance with the European Union Maritime Equipment Directive, Module B (MED–B), or
    • a body approved by the Maritime Authority.

 

Personal flotation device Type 2
A PFD that complies with:

  • Australian Standard AS 1499—1996, Personal flotation devices—Type 2 or any previous version of that Standard, or
  • European Standard EN 393-1993Lifejackets – 50N, or
  • any standard or specifications approved by the Maritime Authority.

 

Personal flotation device Type 3
A PFD that complies with:

  •  Australian Standard AS 2260—1996, Personal flotation devices—Type 3 or any previous version of that Standard, or
  • European Standard EN 393-1993Lifejackets – 50N, or
  • any standard or specifications approved by the Maritime Authority.
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