Safety Regulations with Life Vests 

When choosing the perfect life vest, it can be super over whelming. People don't realise but the colour of a life vest is very important for the users safety. All states in Australia have different laws in regards to life vests depending on where they are worn and the type of vest. These maritime laws need to be taken into consideration before you purchase a vest in your state. 

Now let's get into some maritime safety laws, as Jetpilot is Queensland based we will be using Queensland maritime safety as an example.

Queensland requires you to wear a PFD
• When you are crossing a designated coastal bar in an open vessel that is less than 4.8m in length.
• When you are on a personal water craft.
• If you are under the age of 12 years in an open vessel that is less that 4.8m in length and         underway. (Includes personal water crafts and towables). 
• Kids between the age 12 months and up to but not including 12 years old in an open vessel that is less than 4.8m in length and is underway.

Queensland maritime safety laws requires that
• Boat owners/skippers must brief each person boarding the vessel on the location of safety equipment and have clear signs of where PFD’s are stowed.
• Each PFD must abide and display information about which Australian Standard (AS) it was     manufactured too. The current standard is AS 4758, which has replaced AS 1512-1996, AS 1499-1996 and AS 2260-1996 Personal floatation devices that don’t meet or meet previous standards must be replaced.
• It is also important to note that Nationally PFDs made to AS 4758, will be accepted by all marine safety authorities by 1 July 2010. PFDs made to the old Australian standards can continue to be sold after 1 July 2010. The State bodies can therefore implement their own timing regimes.
• Although in Queensland that interim period is set to run out on 31 January 2021. Maritime Safety Queensland and it is enforcement partners will therefore begin enforcing the new Standard for life jackets from 1 February, 2021.

For more information about maritime laws, please click your state below to find out more: 

South Australia
New South Whales 
The Australian Capital Territory
Western Australia 
Northern Territory 


PFD’s in open waters
• Level 100
• Level 150
• Level 275

*Note PFD’s have to be made to AS 4758. These can also be worn in smooth and partially smooth waters.

PFD’s in partially smooth waters
• Level 50

Benefits of this PFD
• Keeps you afloat but doesn’t have a collar which is known not to keep your head above water.
• Can be worn by wake boarders, skiers and person(s) being towed in both smooth and               partially smooth waters.
• Can be worn by personal water craft riders in smooth, partially smooth and beyond                   waters.

*Note PFD’s have to be made to AS 4758.

PFD’s in smooth waters
• Level 50 special purpose
• Level 50s

Benefits of this PFD
• Can be worn by wake boarders, skiers and person(s) being towed in smooth waters.
• Can be worn by personal water craft riders in smooth waters.

*Note PFD’s have to be made to AS 4758.


Q. What is a properly fitted PFD?
A. A properly fitted personal flotation device can be measured us a person’s weight and size. Jetpilot PFD’s come with a recommended weight and size range which can be found online. The PFD should fit snugly and comfortable but still considered tight. It should be easy for a person to tighten without restricting movement. For young kids and infants, you should consider PFD’s that are fitted with a crotch strap to ensure the PFD does slide off. These types of PFD’s can be found on Jetpilot’s online store.

Q. How can I tell the length of my boat?
A. To determine the measurement of your boat refer to the length specified by the boat manufacturer or as recorded on the boat's registration.

Q. When is a boat underway?
A. The term 'underway' means the boat is not anchored, is not tied up to the shore and is not aground. For example, if it is drifting, it is underway.

Q. Do the occupants of every boat less than 4.8 metres in length have to wear life jackets?
A. No – the requirement applies to open boats less than 4.8 metres in length.

Q. What is an open boat?
A. An open boat is one which does not have a permanent rigid deckhouse, cabin or other enclosed space suitable for a person to occupy. In effect the requirement applies to tinnies and runabouts' but not half cabins.

*Note FAQS are taken from Queensland Maritime Safety 

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