Transport for NSW has welcomed a Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) initiative to improve the safety of its members when operating inflatable rescue boats (IRB).
Surf Life Saving crew are set to wear lifejackets in IRB
Office of Boating Safety and Maritime Affairs General Manager Howard Glenn said the recent announcement means surf life savers across Australia will be required to wear lifejackets when operating inflatable rescue boats (IRB) on patrol, and when training or in competition.
'Surf Life Saving Australia is to be applauded for this initiative, which will come into effect from 1 October 2014. The surf life saving movement has a strong safety tradition and this initiative will only strengthen that culture which is a role model to so many other people,' Mr Glenn said.
'This will add further support to encouraging the wearing of lifejackets in small craft.'
Mr Glenn said there were about 1.8 million people who go boating each year in NSW.
'Analysis of boating incident data over the past 10 years indicates the people most at risk are those underway in small craft, such as runabouts and paddle craft, when not wearing a lifejacket,' he said.
'Nine out of 10 people who drown when boating in NSW were not wearing a lifejacket.'
Mr Glenn said the wearing of lifejackets in smaller craft was to be encouraged because such vessels were more unstable and susceptible to capsize and swamping when compared with larger vessels.
He said it was important to build partnerships and support in promotion of safe and responsible boating.
Transport for NSW has played a key role in the development of the International Lifejacket Wear Principles which were signed by representatives of boating organisations from across the world earlier this year at the Marine13 conference in Sydney.
Since the launch of the International Lifejacket Wear Principles on 1 May 2013, which is hosted on a website maintained by Transport for NSW, a total of 14 state and national boating organisations from across the world have signed on as Supporting Partners including: NSW, Western Australia, Ireland, USA , United Kingdom, France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
'This work enhances the ongoing efforts to promote the wearing of lifejackets, especially in smaller craft, to help prevent loss of life when boating.'
For more information visit life jacket wear