Remember, if purchasing an inflatable you are also purchasing ongoing servicing responsibilities.
It is also compulsory for children under the age of 12 years to wear a life jacket in a recreational motor boat or motor-propelled tender of any length while under power.
A life jacket does not need to be worn within a deckhouse, cabin or secure enclosed space.
A life jacket is also compulsory in a lightweight craft which includes kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, dinghies (tenders). For a list of all equipment required in a lightweight craft, see Paddle Craft.
See Inflatable Life Jackets for information on this type of life jacket.
Life Jackets must conform to AS 4758. These will display the following levels:
- Level 150 and above
- Level 100
- Level 50
- Level 50S (Special Purpose)
There are some life jackets, mostly inflatable, that may be in excess of Level 150.
Level 150 or Level 100
A Level 150 or 100 must comply with the Australian Standard AS 4758. This will be clearly marked inside the garment. These jackets replace the old Type 1, AS 1512. These jackets offer head support and superior buoyancy over other life jackets. They are also made from highly visible colours. These jackets are required for sheltered and open waters. It is recommended children use this style of jacket in all operational areas.
Level 50 must comply with Australian Standard AS 4758. This will be clearly marked inside the garment. These jackets replace the old Type 2 AS 1499. They do not offer head support. These jackets are to be used in smooth water only.
Level 50 jackets can be worn by operators of kayaks and personal water craft (PWC) in sheltered waters and people being towed on skis, wakeboards etc.
Level 50 Special Purpose
A Level 50 Special Purpose must comply with AS4758. These jackets do not meet Australian Standards Association colour requirements. They replace the old Type 3 AS2260. Level 50 Special Purpose jackets can be worn by operators of kayaks and personal water craft (PWC) in sheltered waters and people being towed on skis, wakeboards etc. They are not to be used as the main life jacket in a boat (unless you have just been skiing or are about to go skiing),
Before purchasing an inflatable life jacket, you must be aware that inflatable life jackets should be self checked by the owner and under the Marine and Safety (Motor Boats and Licences) By-laws 2013, (Clause 31(2) it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure they are serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. All manufacturers have different requirements. A receipt of service may be required as proof of service.
New Standard Life Jackets required on all boats in Tasmania
It is illegal to wear on a boat a life jacket marked with the old Australian Standards numbers 1512, 1499 and 2260 and an infringement may be issued.
All life jackets in use on Tasmanian boats will need to adhere to the new standard AS4758.1.
Jackets that meet or exceed the standard, will be branded as a level 50, level 100, level 150 or greater.
When purchasing a new life jacket, look for one branded with AS4758.