We are trying to reduce the number of fatalities that have occurred due to people falling overboard domestic commercial vessels. In 2020 alone there were four fatalities, all involving a crew member going overboard. In each of these incidents none of the people who lost their lives were wearing a lifejacket. The graphs below outline the class of domestic commercial vessel in which the fatalities have occurred since 2013 and the lifejacket status for each of the fatal incidents.
Despite AMSA continuing to educate on circumstances where lifejackets can improve safety, fatalities continue to occur where a person has fallen overboard and drowned.
In states such as Tasmania and Victoria where lifejackets have been mandated for vessels less than six metres in length (Tasmania) and 4.8 metres (Victoria) significant decreases in fatalities have occurred. Since the intervention in Tasmania in the early 2000s, subsequent incident data shows a decrease in fatalities from 3.5 to 1.67 annually. Since Victoria introduced mandatory wear requirements in 2014, they have seen a decrease in fatalities from 9.8 to 3.2 annually.