New life jacket regulations now in force in South Australia

Photo: File.
Photo: File.

Boaties, be aware: new life jacket regulations came into effect today.

Anyone aboard a motorised vessel of less than 4.8 metres in length now needs to wear a life jacket at all times, whether moving or stopped.

Children aged 12 or younger must wear a life jacket at any time while in an "open area" of a boat 4.8 to 12 metres long.

Anyone else aboard such a boat must do the same if he or she is operating it alone, between sunset and sunrise, anytime the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a storm warning, when visibility is poor or if the boat has broken down.

As before, all boats need to carry enough life jackets for everyone on board.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the laws, approved by the Boating Industry Association, were intended to reduce the risk of drowning.

Of the 168 drownings in South Australia in the past 10 years, a fifth involved boats or other water craft.

"While we don't want to stop people enjoying themselves, we want to make sure that we're doing what we can to reduce serious injuries and deaths out on the water," Mr Mullighan said.

The new rules, which will bring our state in line with Victoria, will not be enforced until next summer.