Ensure your life jackets and inflatable jackets comply with standard boating safety regulations, are in good condition and everyone on the boat is wearing them
by the Coast Guard Tin Can Bay
Our area is a happy place for boating all year round, but with summer already here and the holiday period arriving soon, we urge you to take 30 minutes to re-check your boat and its equipment to protect yourself and your family.
We often see a large increase in boat usage around this time of year. Although Coast Guard works 365 days a year, it is a much better day on the water if you don’t have to call on us for help.
This starts with maintenance, the simple things like getting rid of stale fuel – if it has been sitting in the tank for six months, get rid of it. Ensure that your fuel filter is replaced at least annually.
Clean spark plugs if you have them, and give a quick lubricant spray under the cowl to assist repelling salt and to lubricate cables and joints. Change your gear oil. Most importantly, replace your impellor at least once a year, they are affected by heat and time, as well as usage wear.
Now that your boat is reliable, check your safety gear. You must carry, as a minimum: a means of alternate propulsion; a signalling device (such as a mirror); water, lights if operating at night; an anchor; pumping or bailing equipment, and firefighting equipment (can be a bucket). Lastly, and most importantly, a life jacket for everyone on board.
Two issues with life jackets, they need to be checked now to ensure they comply with standard AS 4758 and be in good condition. If you have an inflatable jacket, it must be serviced annually, or in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
The second issue with life jackets is that they are of no use if you are not wearing them. All Coast Guard boat crew are required to undertake annual sea safety training where we have to put on a life jacket while in the water.
It is not an easy task, and would be made more difficult if it was under an upturned boat, or floating away on the wind and tide. If you are boating alone, we recommend wearing them at all times.
Enjoy your summer boating, be safe, log on with us, and wave to us if you see us out on the water.