Review has a life of its own

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Fashion - By JON BAS­SETT

PLANS to mod­ernise WA’S boat­ing safety rules has al­ready pro­moted rig­or­ous de­bate over the manda­tory wear­ing of life­jack­ets in­tro­duced in other states.

“But if you are in a cabin cruiser, why should we want you to wear one?” Depart­ment of Trans­port act­ing gen­eral man­ager of ma­rine safety Chris Mather said. “We un­der­stand that.”

WA’S 1958 laws were last re­viewed in 1994 and new water­sports such as kitesurf­ing, stand-up pad­dle boards (SUP), jet­skis and cheap kayaks have be­come pop­u­lar since then.

Mr Mather said the review was “just ask­ing” whether life­jack­ets should be manda­tory, after kayakers drowned in the Mid-west and South West, and dinghy fish­er­men drowned near Rock­ing­ham re­cently.

The depart­ment wanted to know when it should be a rule, such as a dinghy fish­er­man alone, se­niors, at night and high winds.

Tech­nol­ogy now al­lows for light, cheaper per­sonal floata­tion de­vices (PFDS) worn around the neck that ei­ther in­flate with a tog­gle or ac­ti­vate au­to­mat­i­cally, while new ma­te­ri­als al­low small, jacket-style PFDS.

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Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Depart­ment of Trans­port's Frank Jarosek is car­ry­ing out the review of safety equip­ment.

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