COVID-19: Updates on Department of Transport services

Lifejackets

Find out about lifejackets including the types available, who must carry them, when to wear them and how to choose and maintain them. This section also contains a list of other approved lifejackets.

  Make a difference lifejacket program

The Make a difference, maintain and wear your lifejacket program shows boaties how to service their lifejackets and promotes the importance of wearing a lifejacket while boating.

The program builds on the success of DoT’s Old4New lifejacket replacement program launched in 2016 in partnership with the Royal Lifesaving Society of Western Australia and resulting in more than 5,000 old, damaged or obsolete lifejackets removed from recreational vessels throughout WA –  replaced with new, easy to wear inflatable lifejackets.

As part of the new program boaties will be able to participate in special clinics to learn how to maintain their lifejacket and vouchers are available to assist with the cost of servicing or replacing a lifejacket when required.

DoT will deliver the campaign with the valued assistance of its retail partners throughout WA who share a commitment to the promotion of boating safety.

Key information about the program:

  • The Make a difference program will visit metropolitan and regional boat ramps during the year, where DoT officers will deliver lifejacket clinics showing boaties how to maintain a lifejacket.
  • There are limited places at each clinic and registration is required to participate or phone 13 11 56 and ask to be transferred to Safety Education to book a spot.
  • Depending on the attendance numbers the clinics should run for about 45 minutes.
  • At the clinic parts will be provided free of charge to ensure your lifejacket is fully operational.
  • If your lifejacket is deemed unserviceable or the clinic does not have the parts to service your lifejacket you will receive a $30 voucher, that can be redeemed at a Make a difference retail partner.
  • A maximum of four vouchers per family can be redeemed at a retail partner.
  • The retail partner will take $30 off the recommended retail price of the lifejacket or cost of new parts when you present the voucher.
  • Vouchers are valid for 30 days after being issued.

Retailer partners and frequently asked questions are available for further information about the program.

MAC_P_Make_A_Difference_Lifejackets_FAQs.pdf icon Make a difference program: FAQs Kb
MAC_P_Make_A_Difference_Lifejackets_Guidelines.pdf icon Make a difference: Guidelines Kb

Lifejacket clinic times and locations

You can also properly dispose of your out-of-date flares and EPIRBs at the lifejacket clinics. Choose from the following times and locations and register using the button below.

Date Location Time 
23 October 2020 Augusta - Ellis street 4pm
24 October 2020 Windy Harbour - Marine Rescue building 10am
25 October 2020 Walpole - Boat Ramp carpark off Boronia street 9am
25 October 2020 Denmark - Berridge Park carpark 1pm
26 October 2020 Albany - Waterfront Marina  4pm
31 October 2020 Ocean Reef - Boat Harbour 9am & 10am
1 November 2020 Rockingham - Palm Beach boat ramp 9am & 10am
2 November 2020 Lancelin – Jetty carpark (Miragliotta Street) 4pm
3 November 2020 Jurien Bay – Harbour (Breakwater Drive) 4pm
4 November 2020 Dongara/Port Denison – Church Street carpark, Dongara 4pm
5 November 2020 Geraldton – Batavia Marina boat ramp 4pm
7 November 2020 Kalbarri – Memorial Road boat ramp 9am
8 November 2020 Northampton 10am
17 November 2020 Albany – Emu Point 4pm
18 November 2020 Bremer Bay – Marine Rescue group 4pm
19 November 2020 Hopetoun – Boat ramp on the groyne 4pm
20 November 2020 Esperance – Town Boat Ramp 4pm
21 November 2020 Esperance – Town Boat Ramp 9am
22 November 2020 Kalgoorlie - Centennial Park (Hannan Street) 9am

Guidelines apply, and numbers are limited at lifejacket clinics.

Register for a clinic

 

 

Participating retailers - Make a difference program

Location Retailer
Albany BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Albany GB Marine
Albany Rusty's Marine
Albany PFDWA.net.au
Augusta Augusta X-treme Outdoor Sports and Camping
Balcatta BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Balcatta Getaway Outdoors
Belmont BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Broome Broome Boat Shop
Bunbury Anaconda Bunbury
Bunbury BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Bunbury Millard Marine
Busselton BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Butler Anaconda Butler
Butler BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Cannington Anaconda Cannington
Cannington BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Carnarvon Carnarvon Tackle and Marine
Carnarvon Tel-O-Mac Tackle Shop
Cockburn BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Cockburn Getaway Outdoors
Coral Bay Coral Bay Supermarket
Derby Big Barras One Stop Shop
Dunsborough Bosun Marine
Esperance Moby Marine Services
Esperance Southern Sports and Tackle
Esperance Tatey's Tackleworld
Exmouth Exmouth Tackle and Camping
Exmouth Tackle World Exmouth
Geraldton BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Geraldton Getaway Outdoors
Hillarys RecFishWest
Innaloo Anaconda Innaloo
Joondalup Anaconda Joondalup
Joondalup BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Jurien Bay Jurien Bay Marine Supplies
Kalgoorlie BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Karratha Adventure Sports
Kelmscott Getaway Outdoors
Kununurra East Kimberley Marine
Malaga BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Malaga Searano Marine
Mandurah BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Mandurah Mandurah Outboards
Mandurah Tackle World & Outdoors Mandurah
Mandurah Tackle World Miami
Melville Anaconda Melville
Mt Claremont Royal Life Saving WA
Midland Anaconda Midland
Midland BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Myaree BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
O'Connor Ocean Life Marine
O'Connor West  Offshore Products
Osborne Park BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Port Hedland GT Diving
Port Hedland Pilbara Boats N Bikes
Rockingham Anaconda Rockingham
Rockingham BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store)
Rockingham Rockingham Boating
Walpole Walpole Hardware and Rural Supplies
Wangara Hi Tech Marine

Retailers wishing to be part of the Make a difference program should contact edboat@transport.wa.gov.au

  Register for a lifejacket clinic

Select a location, date and time option from the clinics listed in the 'Lifejacket clinic times and locations' table in the Make a difference lifejacket program section above.

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  Who must carry lifejackets and when to wear them

A lifejacket is the most important piece of safety equipment on your boat and is your primary life support device if your boat sinks. If you are not wearing your lifejacket, it cannot save your life.

For comprehensive information about lifejackets, download the brochure below.

MAC_B_Safety_Equipment_Lifejackets.pdf icon Safety equipment: Lifejackets Kb

Who must carry them?

Vessels operating in unprotected waters (outside the waters contained by any breakwater or in any lake, river or estuary other than the waters of Cambridge Gulf or Lake Argyle) must carry an approved lifejacket for each person on board.

Each lifejacket must suit the weight of the person for whom it is intended, be maintained in good condition and kept in an easily accessible place.

When to wear lifejackets

Lifejackets are a key safety feature in recreational boating. A National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) study found that people who survived a boating incident were more than two times more likely to have been wearing a lifejacket compared to those who died and concluded that if lifejacket usage increased to 50%, 2-3 lives could be saved nationally each year.

Besides wearing them in emergencies, you also enhance safety if you wear lifejackets in the following circumstances:

  • At the first sign of bad weather.
  • Between sunset and sunrise or during restricted visibility.
  • When operating in unfamiliar waters.
  • When operating with a following sea.
  • When boating alone (this is especially recommended).
  • At all times on children under 10 years.
  • If you are a poor swimmer.

Practice putting them on in the dark and in the water; it is harder than you think.

Lifejackets for personal watercraft

People on-board a personal watercraft (PWC) are required to wear a lifejacket whilst they are operating the craft. Refer to the table below for more detail.

Location/distance from shore Lifejacket type Additional equipment
Within protected waters or 400 metres of the shore in unprotected. PFD Type 1, 2, or 3 None reported.
Between 400 metres and two nautical miles from shore in unprotected waters. PFD Type 1 Must also carry an inshore distress flare kit, in serviceable condition.
Between two and five nautical miles. PFD Type Must also carry an inshore distress flare kit and an EPIRB.

Note:

Vessels under 3.75 metres are not permitted more than five nautical miles off shore.

Opens in a new window Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA): National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety

  Types, choosing a lifejacket and maintenance

Lifejacket type 1
Lifejacket type 1

Level 100, 150, 275

Approved for use in unprotected waters.

Standard: AS 4758 or ISO 12402: level 275, level 150, level 100 or AS 1512.

Level 100 and higher lifejackets provide a high level of buoyancy and are:

  • Approved for use in unprotected waters.
  • Fitted with head and neck support.
  • Designed to keep you in a face up floating position.
  • Manufactured using high-visibility colours.
  • Suitable for offshore and general boating in all waters.
Lifejacket type 2
Lifejacket type 2

Level 50

Not approved for general use in unprotected waters. *

Standard: AS 4758 or ISO 12402 - level 50 or AS 1499.

Level 50 lifejackets have a lower level of buoyancy than the Level 100 and higher lifejackets and are:

  • Not approved for general use in unprotected waters.
  • Not fitted with head and neck support.
  • Not designed to keep you in a face up floating position.
  • Manufactured using high-visibility colours.
  • Normally used for sailing, kayaking, canoeing, wind surfing and on personal water craft.

* 'General use in unprotected waters' includes all vessels except for: Personal Watercafts operating within 400 metres of the shore, paddlecraft, sailboards and kitesurfers.

Lifejacket type 3
Lifejacket type 3

Level 50S

Not approved for general use in unprotected waters. *

Standard: AS 4758 or ISO 12402 - level 50S or AS 2260.

Level 50S lifejackets have similar buoyancy to the Level 50 lifejackets and are:

  • Not approved for general use in unprotected waters.
  • Not fitted with head and neck support.
  • Not designed to keep you in a face up floating position.
  • Not manufactured using high-visibility colours.
  • Favoured by waterskiers, wakeboarders, kayakers and canoeists where comfort and style are important.
  • Available as a built in garment (e.g. water skiing wet suit).

* 'General use in unprotected waters' includes all vessels except for: Personal Watercafts operating within 400 metres of the shore, paddlecraft, sailboards and kitesurfers.

Choosing and maintaining a lifejacket - size and weight

Infants: because of the varying weight distribution of babies it is difficult to put flotation in the right places; children less than about a year old cannot be adequately catered for and should not go afloat.

For older children, there are three main things to look for:

  • The weight range on the lifejackets label agrees with the child's weight.
  • The lifejacket is a snug fit (loose lifejackets work poorly).
  • The child is comfortable while wearing it.

For adults, too, a snug fit is important. As for comfort, generally the less money you pay, the more uncomfortable the lifejacket.

Choose a lifejacket that is made in bright colours and with reflective tape which will assist resources find you at night.

Maintaining lifejackets

You should check the condition of your lifejackets periodically. Check for cuts and tears that could let water enter the jacket and rot the buoyant material. Check that the tabs are in good condition and not frayed.

Opens in a new window ANZSBEG YouTube video: Types of lifejackets
Opens in a new window ANZSBEG YouTube video: Caring for your lifejacket

  Personal flotation device standard

Lifejackets made under Australian Standards 4758 and ISO 12402 will be accepted for use in Western Australia as part of your safety equipment requirement.

Australian Standard 4758 or ISO 12402 has a rating system for personal flotation devices.

How the standard compares with older types

Older types Comparison to Standard AS 4758 / ISO 12402
Coastal lifejacket Level 275
Level 150
PFD type 1 Level 275
Level 150
Level 100
PFD type 2 Level 50
PFD type 3 Level 50 special purpose

Lifejackets made to the standards Australian Standards 1512, Australian Standard 1499 and Australian Standard 2260 are still acceptable for use as long as they are in good condition. You do not have to upgrade your current personal flotation device.

Do you need to upgrade?

No.

Lifejackets made to the old standards will be acceptable for use into the foreseeable future. If you purchase a lifejacket made to an old standard now and look after it, you can expect many years of service. A date may be set for eventual retirement of the old standards.

More information is available on the National Marine Safety Committee website.

Opens in a new window Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA): National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety

  Inflatable lifejackets

Inflatable lifejacket
Inflatable lifejacket

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

Care should be taken when purchasing an inflatable jacket to ensure that it conforms with Australian Standards: AS 4758 - level 100 (or higher), AS 1512, ISO 12402 or PFD Type 1. This will be clearly marked on the lifejacket.

You should be aware of the added maintenance requirements that come with this style of jacket and carry out self checks regularly (see opposite). Crew and passengers should be briefed on their operation.

Inflatable lifejacket maintenance

It is important that inflatable lifejackets are serviced regularly.

You should follow the manufacturer's instructions or, if the manufacturer doesn't specify, you should have your lifejacket serviced at least every 12 months. This will ensure it is in good working order.

Self check your inflatable lifejackets

Inflatable lifejackets are certainly very convenient but remember to be diligent with your checks and undertake regular servicing. Self checking a lifejacket can be done at any time to ensure the jacket is functioning properly.

Inflatable lifejackets step 1
Inflatable lifejackets step 1

Step 1

  • Check for visible signs of wear and damage.
  • Ensure all fastenings and buckles are in good working order.
Inflatable lifejackets step 2
Inflatable lifejackets step 2

Step 2

  • Following the manufacturer's instructions, reveal the inflation system and oral inflation tube.
  • Inflate the bladder using the oral tube and leave overnight in a room with a constant temperature.
  • If the bladder loses pressure, immediately take the jacket to an accredited service agent for further tests.
  • Do not attempt to repair the jacket yourself.
Inflatable lifejackets step 3
Inflatable lifejackets step 3

Step 3

  • Use the cap attached to the oral inflation tube to deflate the bladder.
  • Invert the cap and press down on the valve at the top of the oral tube.
  • Do not insert other objects into top of tube as they may damage the valve.
  • Roll or press jacket to deflate fully.
Inflatable lifejackets step 4
Inflatable lifejackets step 4

Step 4

  • Remove CO2 cylinder and inspect. The cylinder should be intact with no rust or corrosion.
  • Weigh the cylinder on kitchen or letter scales, ensure weight corresponds to the minimum gross weight engraved on cylinder +/- 2g.
  • If the cylinder is rusted, corroded, has been pierced or is not the correct weight it should be replaced immediately. On auto inflation jackets also ensure the auto components are armed and in date. Refit the cylinder to inflation system, tightening it by hand until firm.
  • Do not over tighten.
Lifejacket safety step 5
Lifejacket safety step 5

Step 5

  • Record the date of maintenance on the service label on the lifejacket.
Inflatable lifejackets step 5
Inflatable lifejackets step 5

Step 6

  • Repack jacket as per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Ensure manual inflation toggle is accessible and unlikely to be caught when being worn.

  Old4New lifejacket program

Old4new lifejacket program logos
Old4new lifejacket program logos

The 'Old4New lifejacket upgrade and awareness program', previously delivered by DoT in partnership with the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia (RLSSWA), successfully promoted the wearing of lifejackets at all times while boating.

The 4 year program saw 5,000 old, damaged or obsolete lifejackets removed from recreational vessels throughout WA and replaced with new, easy to wear inflatable lifejackets.

DoT is now implementing the new 'Make a difference - maintain and wear your lifejacket' program.

RLSSWA continues to deliver the Old4New program.

External Link Royal Life Saving Western Australia

Image of man putting on girls lifejacket

 

Page last updated: Fri Oct 23 2020 11:46:37 AM