Life Jackets

An approved life jacket / personal flotation device (PFD) must be provided for each person on board. It is compulsory to wear a life jacket in any recreational motor boat or motor-propelled tender that is under six (6) metres in length whilst under power.

It is also compulsory for children under the age of 12 years to wear a life jacket in a recreational motor boat or motor-propelled tender of any length while under power.

A life jacket does not need to be worn within a deckhouse, cabin or secure enclosed space.

A life jacket is also compulsory in a light weight craft which includes kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, dinghies (tenders).  For a list of all equipment required in a light weight craft, see Paddle Craft.

 

Level 150 or Level 100

A Level 150 or 100 must comply with the Australian Standard AS 4758. This will be clearly marked inside the garment. These jackets replace the old Type 1, AS 1512. These jackets offer head support and superior buoyancy over other life jackets. They are also made from highly visible colours. These jackets are required for sheltered and open waters. It is recommended children use this style of jacket in all operational areas.

Level 50

Level 50 must comply with Australian Standard AS 4758. This will be clearly marked inside the garment. These jackets replace the old Type 2 AS 1499. They do not offer head support. These jackets are to be used in smooth water only.

Level 50 Special Purpose

A Level 50 Special Purpose must comply with AS 4758. These jackets do not meet Australian Standards Association colour requirements. They replace the old Type 3 AS 2260. Level 50 Special Purpose jackets can be worn by operators of kayaks and personal water craft (PWC) in sheltered waters and people being towed on skis, wakeboards etc. They are not to be used as the main life jacket in a boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These C02 inflated garments are lighter and less cumbersome than conventional foam life jackets and are quite versatile – they’re even made as wet weather jackets and windproof vests and are becoming increasingly popular.

However there are added maintenance requirements that come with this style of jacket as well as the need for detailed crew and passenger briefing on their operation.

Care should also be taken when purchasing an inflatable jacket to ensure that it conforms with Australian Standards. Inflatable jackets conforming to Australian Standards meet AS 4758. This will be clearly marked on the jacket.

As life jackets spend much time in a harsh environment (particularly with saltwater boaters), it is important that jackets are serviced annually by an accredited service centre or the original manufacturer. This will ensure that the jacket is in good working order. When they are serviced, checks will be carried out to ensure the bladder, reflective tapes, buckles and straps are in working order, and that the inflation system and oral inflation tube are operating correctly. For safety sake, do this annually.

The jackets should also be checked regularly, prior to wearing. Make a visual check for damage and unscrew the gas cylinder to ensure it has not been pierced. If it has been pierced then replace it immediately. Without this occurring the jacket will not inflate.

Ensure that the cartridge is screwed in firmly. Cartridges can loosen from continual vibration whilst stowed in a car or boat. If a cylinder is loose, gas can escape through the thread upon activation.

It is also worthwhile to periodically manually inflate your jacket with the oral inflation tube, and leave it overnight. This will determine whether there are any leaks in the bladder. Remember that if the temperature in the room decreases overnight, this will affect the pressure in the bladder, so take this into consideration when assessing the air in the jacket the next morning.

Inflatable jackets are certainly very convenient but remember to be diligent with your checks and undertake regular servicing to ensure it will work when you need it.

Inflatable Life Jacket Brochure

Life Jacket Servicing handout PDF

 

 

 

C H Smith Marine  –  (03) 6344 1166

Life Jackets serviced:
  • Burke
  • PFD
  • RFD

Rubber Ducky Inflatable Boat Repairs and Services – 0437 910 378

Life Jackets serviced:
  • Axis
  • Beaufort
  • Burke
  • Crewsaver
  • Essential
  • Lalizas
  • Marlin
  • Mullion
  • Mustang
  • PFD
  • RFD
  • Roaring Forties
  • SOS
  • Spinlock
  • Stormy Seas
  • Ultra
  • XT Quickfit

Stormy Lifejackets – (03) 6245 0443

Life Jackets serviced:
  • Stormy

Reel Tackle and Bait –  (Clinton Howe)  0429 475 550

Life Jackets serviced:
  • PFD
  • BLA

Life Jacket Servicing Agents Dec 2015