An alarming number of Queensland boaties continue to ignore lifejacket rules according to new data from Maritime Safety Queensland.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said a recent school holiday blitz on lifejacket compliance found one in five vessel operators doing the wrong thing.
“It is truly shocking that 20 percent of the boats inspected this summer either didn’t have properly working lifejackets, didn’t have enough for everyone on board, or didn’t have the right lifejackets for children,” Mr Bailey said.
Mr Bailey said in some cases, boats were found carrying children who were not wearing lifejackets.
“I find it really disturbing that some boaties aren’t exercising every precaution when it comes to their children, who are most vulnerable when things go wrong,” he said.
“I can’t over-emphasize how important it is to follow the lifejacket rules every time you go out on the water.”
“Lifejackets are the seatbelts of the sea and if they’re not on, they can’t save you.”
“Of 259 people who drowned after boating incidents in Queensland between 1992 and 2020, only 15 were known to be wearing lifejackets.”
Mr Bailey said not wearing, carrying, or having easy access to lifejackets was one of the top fatal five risks for recreational boating which also included failure to keep a proper lookout, speeding, alcohol and drugs use, and poor trip planning.
“If you’re going boating, make sure you have enough properly fitting, fully serviced lifejackets on board and everyone can get to them in a hurry,” he said.
“Drinking alcohol and being under the influence of drugs reduces your ability to boat safely so remember, don’t drink and drive.”
Lifejacket rules can be found on the MSQ website: www.msq.qld.gov.au/Safety/Life-jackets