Lifejackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on any vessel. 

A lifejacket must be carried for each person on board all vessels, unless exempt.

Lifejackets must:

  • Meet Australian or relevant international standards.
  • Be suitable for the type of waterway in which you are boating and in good condition and properly maintained.
  • Be the correct size for the wearer.

Penalties may be imposed on the owners and masters of vessels found not carrying lifejackets, or not carrying a sufficient number for the people on board the vessel, or occupants not wearing them as required.

The Centre for Maritime Safety has vital information on lifejacket tehcnology and care.

When mu​st lifejackets be worn?

Reme​mber, you're t​he skipper, you're responsible.​

Here's when lifejackets must be worn:

  • b​y children less than 12 years old at all times when aboard a vessel less than 4.8 metres long and when aboard a vessel less than 8 metres long which is underway
  • by all occupants of a vessel less than 4.8 metres long between sunset and sunrise, in open or alpine waters, when boating alone or when being used to transport goods/people more than 200 metres from shore
  • by anyone being towed, including water-skiing, wakeboarding or parasailing and those being towed on tubes, sea biscuits or similar towable devices
  • by anyone aboard a canoe or kayak when more than 100 metres from shore or on open or white water
  • by a person kitesurfing alone more than 400 metres from shore
  • when in an off-the-beach sailing vessel in open waters
  • in certain situations of heightened risk including, but not limited to bad weather and crossing bars
  • by anyone at any time when directed by the skipper
Make sure you're aware of the rules before you head out.