RYA lifejacket advice

Revised guidance for all water-users

The RYA has revised its guidance on when to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

The organisation say the decision to revise its guidance was made “in order to make it easier for beginners and less experienced water-users to make a decision”.

They say: “For many boaters making the decision about wearing personal buoyancy is based upon factors such as weather conditions and the experience of the crew, however if you’re a beginner or still relatively inexperienced, making these judgements is often not that easy.

“Therefore in order to help clarify when a lifejacket or personal buoyancy aid needs to be worn, the RYA recommends that you ‘wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid unless you are sure you don’t need to’.”

RYA Training Manager James Stevens adds: “We are fully aware that a lifejacket could save someone’s life, but we don’t expect people to wear lifejackets when they feel it’s not necessary.

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“Such occasions could be when safely moored, below decks or sailing in fine weather when the risk of entering the water is low.

“Also if the skipper has decided that lifejackets are unnecessary. However if you are at all unsure the best advice is to wear one.”