Media Release

Boaties Urged To Treat Lifejackets Like Seat Belts


Boating Industry Association of Victoria

Boat owners across Victoria are being urged by the Minister for Ports, Luke Donnellan, to treat the wearing of lifejackets the same as compulsory seat belt wearing as part of enjoying safe boating with family and friends over the summer holidays.

Speaking at the launch of Maritime Safety Victoria's summer safety campaign - 'Wear a lifejacket or wear the consequences', Minister Donnellan said, summer is a time to enjoy with family and friends but there are still preventable deaths occurring on the water that should not be happening.

Left: Peter Corcoran, Director of Maritime Safety for Transport Safety Victoria;
David Hourigan, Director, Transport Safety Victoria; State Coroner Phillip Byrne;
Minister for Ports, Luke Donnellan; Steven Potts, CEO, BIAV;
David Hayes, BIAV Board member; and Paul Benjamin, President, BIAV
at the official launch of Maritime Safety Victoria's summer safety campaign at Station Pier. 

Steven Potts, CEO of the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV), speaking in support of Maritime Safety Victoria's summer safety campaign, said in the case of any emergency on the water the first line of survival is to remain buoyant and be able to be found.

"The Boating Industry and community is fully supportive of the Victorian Government's Marine Safety programs, the work carried out by Government agencies including the Victorian Water Police, Transport Safety and the hundreds of volunteers in marine rescue units throughout Victoria."

Mr Potts said the announcement by the Minister of twenty five additional Boating Safety Officers across the state would give boating a great safety boost this summer.

Demonstration by one of the Maritime Safety units 


One of the Maritime Safety rescue crews 


Left: Minister for Ports, Luke Donnellan; Steven Potts, CEO, BIAV and
David Hayes, BIAV Board member.

"We would urge 'Captains' of all boats to ensure that their passengers have appropriate lifejackets and especially ensure in a family situation that children are educated in the rules about wearing their lifejackets".

"Lifejackets need to be kept in good condition to maximise their life saving potential and should be appropriately stored and regularly inspected," Mr Potts said.

Facts on Boating In Victoria
  • 95% of the of Victorian recreation vessels are trailered, less than 8 metres in length with 68% of registered boats being operated on Port Phillip and Western Port Bays.
  • 172 000 registered water craft in Victoria
  • A Roy Morgan research poll in 2014 showed 86% of Victorian boat owners plan on taking a trip in the next twelve months.
  • The most common boat in Victoria is a five to six metre cabin vessel valued between $15,000 to $25,000. 

  • The top five destinations for Victorian boat owners include: 
    1.  Mornington Peninsula Region
      Philip Island Region 
    The Lakes Region 
    Geelong, Queenscliff, Barwon Heads Region 
    5. Murray, Mildura, Swan Hill Region.

    Media Enquiries:
    Ron Smith, Media Communications, BIAV - Mobile: 0417 329 201