Jack Cavanagh tries on a life jacket to make sure it is a snug fit.
Jack Cavanagh tries on a life jacket to make sure it is a snug fit. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Tragedy highlights boating safety

IN light of the recent Goondiwindi boating tragedy which claimed the lives of two teen girls and in the lead-up to the Easter holidays, people are being reminded to take proper safety precautions before heading out on the water.

Warwick Outdoors and Sports’ Wayne Eastwell said the first step was to find the right type of life jacket.

Mr Eastwell said life jackets came in a range of types, sizes and colours.

He said it was important to ensure your life jacket was suited to the intended application.

“PFD 1 offers the highest level of buoyancy and you will find that most people in boats will be using that type,” Mr Eastwell said.

“It is also important to check they are stamped with PFD 1, 2 or 3 or otherwise you risk a fine.”

Mr Eastwell said he had noticed an increase in life jacket sales as the dam grew fuller and said holidays tended to bring a further spike.

“We do sell a lot, especially at this time of the year and leading up to Easter,” Mr Eastwell said.

A correct fit is crucial when finding a life jacket.

Mr Eastwell said it was important that children were comfortable and aware of the purpose of the device.

“Find one that fits – try it on and make sure it’s a tight fight – it can’t be loose,” he said.

Emergency Management Queensland regional director South Western Region Bob Bundy said staying safe on the water started long before seafarers boarded the boat.

“Preparation is key and boating enthusiasts need to make sure they are well prepared before going out on the water,” Mr Bundy said.

“The biggest priority is ensuring life jackets are available to everyone on board the boat.

“A life jacket, as its name suggests, could save your life in an emergency situation and is an essential safety item for all boating enthusiasts.”

For more information on life jackets, visit www.msq.qld.gov.au.



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