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Old 12-04-2017, 12:26 AM   #1
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Mandatory Life jackets

Here in South Australia, a new bylaw has just been introduced making it manadatory to wear lifejackets when boating in some circumstances.


At first I thought - "just another revenue raiser" but they actually did some research and specified when the risk was actually high. It actually makes sense and won't really affect my existing habits.



Wearing of PFD's is now mandatory:

At all times in any motorized boat under 4.8 metres. (16 feet)

In boats 4.8 - 12 metres (16-40 feet) the rule will apply to:

Children under 12 when on an open deck;

All others on an open deck at times of "heightened risk"
Heightened risk includes: at night, when singlehanded, during severe weather, when crossing a bar, when the boat is disabled, at times of restricted visibility, and when the captain says so.

It won't apply to persons in the cockpit or cabin/saloon.

The state government is also sponsoring a program to trade in any old superseded PFD for a $20 voucher toward a new certified PFD.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:14 AM   #2
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Do they accept inflatable pfd's?
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:22 AM   #3
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Do they accept inflatable pfd's?
Most inflatables are accepted, but they have to meet the required standards There are different category PFD's depending on whether you're in protected, semi-protected or unprotected water. (coastal, gulf, or offshore)

Its all about how much it keeps your face out of the water, not whether or not its an inflatable.
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:32 AM   #4
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It's too bad our governments have to dictate what's best for us. I'd bet this won't save one life. The 99% responsible boaters will act safely regardless. The 1% idiots won't operate safe nor obey the law.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:43 AM   #5
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It's too bad our governments have to dictate what's best for us. I'd bet this won't save one life. The 99% responsible boaters will act safely regardless. The 1% idiots won't operate safe nor obey the law.
I agreaa 100%.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:56 AM   #6
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It's too bad our governments have to dictate what's best for us. I'd bet this won't save one life. The 99% responsible boaters will act safely regardless. The 1% idiots won't operate safe nor obey the law.
Another way to view this is that it reduces the number of idiots who's asses we need to save at public expense. Freedom is great until it starts imposing on others, or creates a public expense that the rest of us need to fund. I don't like funding the rescue of idiots. And if only the ratio were 99% to 1%. I'd estimate it's more like 25% to 75%.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:13 AM   #7
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The idea is not much different from Mandatory seat belt laws. Twistedtree has a point about the cost to the rest of us when others put themselves at unnecessary risk.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:48 AM   #8
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Another way to view this is that it reduces the number of idiots who's asses we need to save at public expense. Freedom is great until it starts imposing on others, or creates a public expense that the rest of us need to fund. I don't like funding the rescue of idiots. And if only the ratio were 99% to 1%. I'd estimate it's more like 25% to 75%.
Agree 100%, including having to rescue fool mountain climbers. In my view, those who undertake such activities should do so at their own risk.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:33 AM   #9
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I agreaa 100%.
And I disagree 90%. While i I agree that it's unfortunate people don't take safety more seriously, I also know that until the 1990s I never wore seat belt. But then it became mandatory and I started wearing one, and it eventually saved my life. Was I an "idiot" before that? Probably. But a lot of idiots changed their behavior when it became mandatory. As in almost everyone I know.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:19 PM   #10
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And I disagree 90%. While i I agree that it's unfortunate people don't take safety more seriously, I also know that until the 1990s I never wore seat belt. But then it became mandatory and I started wearing one, and it eventually saved my life. Was I an "idiot" before that? Probably. But a lot of idiots changed their behavior when it became mandatory. As in almost everyone I know.
Yes, you and a lot of the rest of us were idiots. My parents refused to wear seat belts. When the laws came in, we got serious. Still in the passenger seat they wouldn't, but they did when riding with me as I wasn't about to get a ticket because of them. More than once there was from one of them, "What are you waiting on?" and the answer was "You to put your seat belt on."

I never wore a PFD before we moved to the coast and we took captain's training, both classroom and personal. Suddenly, I realized I was responsible for others and needed to establish rules for them. In doing so, I needed to also follow rules. Still don't like to wear them, but our compliance is much along the lines of the Australian law referenced here.

What is so interesting is that we have two 3 year olds who occasionally boat with us. My wife helped them find "designer" PFD's, Perhaps not designer in the truest sense, but colorful and both girls love them. Their favorite is Dora. Mention boat and they're quickly to their room to get them and put them on. Last time they knew they were going out on the boat, they were dressed including the PFD's at 7:00 AM as breakfast in our home was being prepared. I thought of them as awful when I was a kid, but they think of them as wonderful because they love boating and the PFD means they're about to go boating.

Most young people have grown up now always wearing seat belts. It's their norm. Now, we do need to make proper use of PFD's a norm and if government intervention is what it takes, them I'm all for it.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #11
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Yeah; "dumb" can be just one side of the equation. You might be smart, but a collision can be caused by the "dumb", and the smart ones might need a jacket on, right now.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:43 PM   #12
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With the advent of inflatable life jackets, it's not such a hardship to wear them. When I started boating all I had were canvas covered kapok filled jackets. They were bulky and uncomfortable. Today bass fishermen seem to be the best about wearing life jackets. Do tournament rules require it?
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:10 PM   #13
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Do tournament rules require it?
Yes, anytime the main engine or engines are running, so they really just do it all the time. Been a lot of bass fishermen flipped out of boats over the years.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:47 PM   #14
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Here's a few stats from the USCG 2016 Boating Accident Report*


Where cause of death was known, 80% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of
those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 83% were not wearing a life
jacket.

Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in
length.

Only 13% percent of deaths occurred on
vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety
education certificate.


* Full report available here:
https://www.uscgboating.org/library/...stics-2016.pdf
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:47 PM   #15
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Yes, you and a lot of the rest of us were idiots. My parents refused to wear seat belts....Most young people have grown up now always wearing seat belts. It's their norm. Now, we do need to make proper use of PFD's a norm and if government intervention is what it takes, them I'm all for it.
Beautifully articulated.

It's about changing the culture of an activity. Seat belts are now part of our culture (in the US of A, anyway). Bike helmets, too. Slowly, ever so slowly, the new cell phone use while driving laws are taking hold. Before too long, this will be part of our culture.

I do somewhat resent being made to follow rules that I don't value, but part of the process of culture change is changing people's values. You young whippersnappers don't know what a monumental pain in the ass it was when auto manufacturers first started putting seat belt warning chimes into cars. Worse were the passive belt systems where the shoulder belt was attached to the door. People spent a lot of time trying to bypass these safety systems before the culture simply changed.

The end result of all this culture change? Millions and millions of lives saved, millions and millions of injuries made much less severe, and billions of healthcare dollars saved. In civilized societies we accept the restriction of certain personal liberties for the good of the whole.

But changes sure are hard!
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:56 PM   #16
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What are the proper uses of PFDs?

Wear them all the time?

What about ferries and cruise ships?

And dont tell me how safe those vessels are.....statistically difficult to show my boat is any more dangerous or less so. Plus many passengers on those two modes cant swim or have lousy survival skills.

Start mandating PFDs beyond what it is now and you are starting to really get into government intrusion. I can live with the current regs and maybe a few more PFD regs....but all the time regs would make me fight to have that apply to every vessel big or small. Nothing like swimming in a cruise ship pool with a PFD on. Speaking of which, I will vote for banning swimming too.

I can think of many things that can make all of our lives safer that hardly anyone here would put up with.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:23 PM   #17
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I wonder, without the rule, would we be better off if the really stupid people left the gene pool? It seems that in the long run we're dumbing down humanity with all our safety rules. Not counting our supposed freedom.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:32 PM   #18
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I wonder, without the rule, would we be better off if the really stupid people left the gene pool? It seems that in the long run we're dumbing down humanity with all our safety rules. Not counting our supposed freedom.
I noted during a visit to China years ago that most buildings had open electrical panels, transformers and other hazards that weren't safeguarded like we're used to.

I guess they figure that if you're stupid enough to stick your hand in there, then they don't want you reproducing.

On the other hand, if you slowly step off the curb in China to cross a busy 8-lane road, the traffic flow will simply divide to allow you to cross.

Sort of the opposite of what we're accustomed to seeing. Individual responsibility but communal social concern. I found it refreshingly civilized.

But we don't have a communalistic culture in the US, so anything that cuts a lot of unnecessary costs is almost always a good thing.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:35 PM   #19
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Here is a summary of the requirements in NSW state Australia:

"The most common situations when a lifejacket must be worn on a recreational or hire and drive vessel are:
  • on vessels under 4.8m at night, in open or alpine waters, and when boating alone
  • by children under 12 years of age at all times in a vessel under 4.8m, and in an open area of a vessel 4.8m to 8m while underway
  • on any vessel crossing a coastal bar
  • on canoes and kayaks on all waters
  • on sailboards and kiteboarding (when more than 400 metres from shore on open waters, when crossing a coastal bar or at night)
  • by anyone being towed, such as waterskiing and wake boarding
  • on personal watercraft, including tow-in surfer
  • When directed by a master of a vessel."
Generally it makes sense. Though the first one, when boating alone, doesn`t if the additional person whose presence negates the requirement can`t swim.

I see the requirements as a minimum. Eg,my partner usually wears one while docking.
As to seat belts, I had a car with seat belts, an imported Renault, before seat belts were mandated. I think they are a great idea. They go hand in hand with laminated windscreens. Unrestrained you may be thrown forward,your head will punch a hole in the windscreen,your shoulders prevent further progress, the windscreen will cut your throat.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:46 PM   #20
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G'day, Bruce!

Sorry...I always wanted to say that to an Aussie named Bruce! Yes, I'm a Monty Python geek!

I agree that they're sensible rules. And as for the non-swimming boating companion, at least he or she might be able to throw a flotation device and perhaps bring the boat to a stop.
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