Referring to an incident of a seafarer missing, the Australian Maritime Safety Association (AMSA) advises on the lifejackets workers should wear when working on deck depending on different operational areas.
Concerning the incident, on May 18, a 48-year-old seafarer was lost overboard the fishing trawler, K-Vern, during operations off the Sunshine Coast. Despite the search and rescue operation, the crew man hasn’t been found, and the incident is being investigated.
Following, AMSA urged workers and crewmembers to always wear a lifejacket, with AMSA’s Manager of Operations North, Greg Witherall commenting that “While it’s too early to go into the details of this investigation, there is an important safety message that needs to be heard. The person who went overboard was not wearing a lifejacket.
Accordingly, the national law requires you to have either Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) or coastal lifejackets on your vessel, depending on your operational area.
SOLAS and coastal lifejackets are designed to be worn when abandoning a vessel. These lifejackets 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.
The Authorty notes that certain models of personal flotation device (PFD) are also acceptable for use as a coastal lifejacket—if they are manufactured to certain standards. Because they are less cumbersome to wear than coastal and SOLAS lifejackets, this makes them ideal to wear during normal activities on a vessel to reduce the risk of drowning if you fall overboard.
|B Extended offshore
|SOLAS with a light for every person on board (crew and passengers). Child-sized SOLAS life jackets with a light for at least 10 per cent of children passengers weighing less than 32 kg.|
|C Restricted offshore
C Restricted offshore – specified areas
|Coastal lifejacket* with a light for every person on board (crew and passengers).|
|D – partially smooth water
E – smooth water
|Coastal lifejacket* for every person on board (crew and passengers).|
|AMSA Note: The requirement may be different if you operate under an exemption or under grandfathering arrangements.* Certain models of personal flotation device (PFD) are acceptable for use as a coastal lifejacket if they are manufactured to one of the following standards.
AS 4758.1 (level 150)