Lifevest changes ‘bloody good idea’
Children under 10-years-old could be made to wear a lifejacket on all vessels at all times if a proposed amendment to a council bylaw is approved.
At a Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting last week, councillors elected to put the proposal out for public consultation.
Queenstown Lakes District harbourmaster Marty Black said it was a ‘‘bloody good idea’’ and encouraged support.
‘‘It needs to happen. End of story,’’ Black said.
The wearing of lifejackets by children ‘‘had got a lot better’’ recently, but Black felt making it law was important.
Commercial vessels like popular tourist boat the TSS Earnslaw would be exempt.
Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said the Earnslaw, and other vessels like it, fell under Maritime Operator Safety System rules so under 10s would not be required to wear a life jacket.
‘‘They just need to make sure they have got life jackets on board,’’ Webster said.
All other vessels travelling in Lakes District waterways would require children under 10-yearsold to wear a life jacket.
Presently, all people on a boat under six metres long had to wear a life jacket and, on larger boats, if told to by the person in charge.
The public would be consulted on other proposed changes too.
Webster hoped the changes would be in place by November.
Harbourmaster Marty Black.