Did you know that the law in Ireland now requires that there must be suitable Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) for everyone on board any pleasure craft and that a suitable PFD must be worn; by anyone on board an open craft that is under 7 meters in length, by anyone under the age of 16 on board an open craft or on deck of any other type of craft, by anyone being towed in another craft or on any other device, (skis, donuts etc.), by anyone on a personal watercraft (jet ski),
This applies in all cases except when tied up or immediately prior to, during and after swimming from a craft that is not moving through the water or putting on, wearing or taking off diving equipment on a craft that is not moving through the water.
RNLI research has found that 98% of people surveyed carry a lifejacket. However, further evidence shows that only 52% of people often wear their lifejackets, compared with 42% that say they wear their lifejackets all the time. Wearing a lifejacket was at number six in the safety priority list of the boat owners surveyed.
If you do carry a lifejacket do you know how to fit and adjust it properly and how to perform simple maintenance checks? Michael Walsh, Sea Safety Officer with Baltimore Lifeboat Station, organized a lifejacket clinic on Baltimore Pier during the Wooden Boat Festival. Jon Mathers of Crosshaven Lifeboat Station and Eugene Tubridy of Kinsale who have both been trained by the RNLI to inspect lifejackets provided advice to a steady stream of sailors of a diverse range of craft. The key message to remember is that a lifejacket will gain you vital time in the water and could save your life, but only if you’re wearing it.
Photo Caption: Jon Mathers, RNLI Crosshaven .Michael Walsh RNLI Baltimore, Eugene Tubridy RNLI Kinsale