Warn­ing is­sued over life­jack­ets Jon Bas­sett

Melville Times - - News -

OLD life­jack­ets with crum­bling foam and de­cay­ing web­bing were found dur­ing a De­part­ment of Trans­port (DoT) ex­change pro­gram de­signed to keep peo­ple alive dur­ing emer­gen­cies at sea.

“We are find­ing some ex­tremely scary-look­ing jack­ets be­ing car­ried by some ves­sels,” DoT safety ed­u­ca­tion man­ager Laurie Adams said.

Mr Adams found 30 jack­ets on one boat with de­te­ri­o­rated foam and web­bing, be­fore the own­ers got new de­vices dur­ing a visit by the Old4New pro­gram to Broome six weeks ago.

The pro­gram is be­ing ex­tended for an­other 12 months in the metropoli­tan area, al­low­ing old, ob­so­lete or dam­aged jack­ets to be traded in for 50 of the Ul­tra-model level 150 life­jacket, suit­able for off­shore and gen­eral boat­ing in all con­di­tions.

Any other trade-in can get a $15 voucher to buy a com­pli­ant and mod­ern life­jacket at an out­door ac­tiv­ity chain store.

WA reg­u­la­tions cur­rently out­line that a life­jacket must be car­ried aboard for each per­son in un­pro­tected wa­ters.

It is rec­om­mended they are worn at all times by solo sailors and kayak­ers, those boat­ing in a fol­low­ing sea, at night, if a poor swim­mer, in ad­di­tion to be­ing out in bad weather.

Just hav­ing life­jack­ets and emer­gency bea­cons aboard is not enough.

“A lot of peo­ple will get an EPIRB bea­con or life­jacket as a Christ­mas present and it’s just shoved in its wrap­ping un­der a seat, but if it’s not ac­ces­si­ble and peo­ple don’t know how to use it then it’s no use to any­one,” Wa­ter Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Noel Min­nock said.

The level 150 life­jacket worn around the neck at all times, and in­flated by a gas cylin­der when needed, keeps peo­ple float­ing face-up in the wa­ter.

“Even if you are un­con­scious it’s go­ing to keep you buoy­ant in the wa­ter,” Sgt Min­nock said.

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Se­nior Sergeant Noel Min­nock, Laurie Adams and Wa­ter Po­lice want boat­ies to wear mod­ern life­jack­ets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.