Boating Bits

New lifejacket laws now in effect

New lifejacket laws for recreational boaters have come into effect for NSW boaties.

Under the new laws, all boaters on vessels less than 4.8m must wear lifejackets:

• At night;

• On open (ocean) waters;

• On alpine waters; and

• When boating alone.

Stronger protections apply to children under 12 who must wear lifejackets on boats less than 4.8m or when they are in open areas of vessels less than 8 metres that are underway, which means all deck areas including fly bridges and anything attached to the stern.

The new lifejacket rules follow extensive community consultation by NSW Maritime, with more than 86 per cent of respondents supporting the majority of the proposed changes.

While boaters get used to the new rules there will be a 12-month advisory period where warnings will be issued for first offences.

More information is available at:

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