New Zealand plans to introduce legislation requiring everyone in small boats to wear lifejackets

New Zealand plans to introduce legislation requiring everyone in small boats to wear lifejackets in all but exceptional circumstances. It is already a legal requirement for a boat to carry lifejackets of the right size and number for everyone on board.

“If the proposal is adopted into law, it will mean that a skipper of a boat smaller than 6 metres will be responsible for ensuring all on board wear their wear lifejackets”, said a Maritime New Zealand spokesman. “However the skipper will still have the right to decide that they can be taken off when the risk is low.”

“Around 70 per cent of New Zealand’s boating fatalities over the last year would most likely be prevented had those involved been wearing their lifejackets”, he said. “The message is that just like wearing a seatbelt in your car, wearing your lifejacket will greatly improve your chances of survival in an accident.”