What type of lifejacket do I need?

Tuesday 4 October 2022
It's important to identify what lifejacket you should use. This will depend on your operational requirements, and also on the type that is the best fit for you and your crew.
Lifejackets of different colours

Domestic commercial vessel owners and operators must assess the risk of personnel going overboard on their vessel and address this in their safety management system.  Australian law also requires you to have either Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) or coastal lifejackets on your vessel, depending on your operational area. This is covered in more detail in this table.

SOLAS and coastal lifejackets are designed to be worn while abandoning a vessel.  They are bulky, with flotation material at the front so an unconscious person will automatically roll onto their back. They also have reflective tape and a whistle to attract attention. 

SOLAS and coastal lifejackets are made to different standards. SOLAS lifejackets are designed to help people stay afloat in water for long periods of time, while awaiting rescue.

Certain models of inflatable lifejackets also meet the NSCV requirements for coastal lifejackets. Inflatable lifejackets are less cumbersome to wear than traditional coastal and SOLAS lifejackets, and may be more comfortable to wear during normal activities on a vessel to reduce the risk of drowning if you fall overboard.

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