Transcript - Find a lifejacket to fit your lifestyle

We all know that our lifejackets are a go-to piece of safety equipment whether we happen to be skiing, or sailing, or just enjoying a day out on the water.

Nick, these days there are literally hundreds of lifejackets to choose from and they're more comfortable than ever before.
But the trick is choosing one that is right for you.

Lifejackets are classified according to the amount of buoyancy they provide and the level of visibility.

In Victoria, which one you need to wear depends on where you are and what you're doing.

There are three types of lifejacket:

Type 1 is a jacket that is required on most boats whilst operating on costal or enclosed waters.
These are the type of jackets that will provide you with ample buoyancy to ensure that your head will remain clear of the water.

The inflatable type jackets fit into Type 1, as will your zip and click style jackets that have a collar.
Type 1 jackets have the most buoyancy – a minimum of 100 Newtons and the all-important collar to keep you head out of the water.

For power boating in either enclosed or offshore situations, it's pretty simple:
A type 1 lifejacket is required for every person on board.
You need to have that Type 1 just in case something does happen and you fall in the drink.
You're going to have your head supported and it's going to keep you above water.
Especially if you're boating alone as well, it's good to have that collar in case you trip over and knock yourself out.
At least you've got a better chance of survival.
So if you're in a power boat in either enclosed or offshore waters, a Type 1 jacket for every person on board is the simple rule.

Type 2 and 3 jackets only have 50 Newtons of buoyancy and no head support, and won't cut it offshore.

A Type 2 jacket is a jacket you would see used for watersports (like waterskiing, kayaking or riding a PWC). They come in bright colours.
Now Michelle, this is where it does get a little bit confusing - telling the difference between a Type 2, which you are holding, and a Type 3, which I am holding.
What is the actual physical difference between these two jackets?

Yes, I can see how people can get confused.
The only difference is the colour.
So with the Type 2, you've got the bright colours. Hi-vis.
And with these Type 3s, they can be any colour.
There you go – clear as mud!

And it's worth remembering that a Type 1 lifejacket can substitute a Type 2 or 3, but not the other way around!

So Michelle, the lifejacket regulations are a kind of horses for courses situation, depending on what you're doing and where you are dictates what you need to wear.
For example, kayaks are very popular now – are there special regulations there?

Yes, there is. You need to wear a Type 1, 2 or 3 jacket at all times.
What's the reason for that?
The reason is that if you do fall out – which is quite likely – the kayak can quickly float away from you.
They blow away because they're very light.
They do.
There are now jackets that you can get that are designed for kayaking?
Yes there are. So this one is actually specifically designed for paddle sports.
You can see the shoulders here – they're quite thin so you get good movement.
And you can be out there all day long.
Paddle all day with no chaffing. Brilliant!

Kids under 10 need to wear a lifejacket at all times whilst on the water.
Making sure their jackets fit properly and comfortably is important.
A crotch strap is also a good idea.
Identifying which Type of jacket you have is usually pretty straightforward.
You can also see what Type of lifejacket you've got by looking at it.
This one here has the tick, so it meets the Australian standard. And it's a Level 150.

The other thing to bear in mind – if you're wearing one of these inflatable jackets is that it is in service and will work when you need it to.
Inflatable jackets must be serviced according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Different manufacturers have different requirements so it pays to check.

The lifejacket you wear depends on where you are and what you're doing but as more and more Victorian boaters are discovering
it makes good sense to wear a lifejacket every time you head out on the water.

There are some specific laws for Victoria that require the wearing of lifejackets while on all types of boats.
Our recommendation is that people consider wearing a lifejacket at all time while out on the water.

So remember: Wear a lifejacket, or others wear the consequences.