Life Jacket Rules
lifejacket reforms took effect in NSW In sheltered waters, when more
than 100 metres from an accessible shore.
In open (ocean) waters,
at all times.
from 1 November 2010, with a 12 month
Will the requirements for
canoes and kayaks change?
Yes. People will be required to wear
a lifejacket when in a canoe or kayak on: enclosed waters when more than 100m
from shore; or ocean waters.
This will be a change from the existing requirement by which
a lifejacket is required to be worn when 400m from the nearest
When operating a kayak or canoe:
Why? Current rules require a lifejacket to be worn when more
than 400 metres from shore. There have been a small number of fatalities involving
these kinds of craft and their use is increasing dramatically. The risks associated
with this type of boating are significantly mitigated by the wearing of a lifejacket.
For the majority of people it would be an insurmountable challenge to swim 400
metres, especially so if the weather was rough, they were wearing clothes, and
they were disorientated following a capsize. If you were operating close to shore
in sheltered waters it would still be okay not to wear a lifejacket. But if more
than 100 metres from an accessible shore, or in open (ocean) waters, a lifejacket
would have to be worn.
When kayaking, canoeing, and kitesurfing a type 3 lifejacket can be used.
This will minimise the impact on the operation of the craft.
Lifejacket type 3
A type 3 lifejacket is a buoyancy vest with the same overall
buoyancy as a type 2 lifejacket. It is not required to be made in high-visibility
colours. Type 3 lifejackets are mainly used for aquatic sports such as waterskiing
where comfort and style are important. A type 3 lifejacket must comply with the
relevant Australian or overseas standards.
See Maritime website for