Life Jackets Buy Your Life Time
It has been mandatory to wear life jackets for over 10 years on all paddle craft on Victorian waterways. The reason is simple; life jackets buy your life time when you unexpectedly enter the water. No matter how experienced, all paddlers are at risk of capsizing and so need to take safety precautions.
Life jackets need to be suitable for purpose, be correctly sized and fitted so they can make it easier for you to swim or stay afloat in the water during a time of need. If you can get back in or stay with your paddle craft that is ideal; otherwise you can look for a nearby bank to swim towards or stay relaxed and look for a rescue boat as your life jacket keeps you afloat.
Previously, life jackets were a separate item to personal flotation devices (PFDs) based on how they kept an unconscious person afloat. Now, under new international standards, they are all described as life jackets – as they all buy your life time. There are different types of life jackets required for different activities which are explained in the boating safety handbook link below
For up to date information about Victorian life jacket laws and standards refer to the Maritime Safety Victoria Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook (life jackets are part of safety equipment).
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