MAY @ VMR – Boating safety Tips – Life jackets

By The Bribie Islander - Local Newspaper & Blog


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Tags: a Correctly fitted life jacket.  Boating safety tips. Voluntary marine rescue


**(See further down for Life Jacket safety tips)**

4903 Calls, 1386 vessels logged on, 106 Vessel Assists, 519 Sitreps, 242 Requests, 50 Overdue vessels, 10 Vessel Tracking, 5 Securite Broadcasts. VHF calls 77.7%, – 27MHz calls 10.1% MAY VESSEL ASSISTS:

TUE 01/05 1041am – 3m Tinny nonmember, motor won’t start, required tow from Mouth of Ningi Creek to Spinnaker Sound Marina.

THU 03/05 1601pm – 4m Tinny nonmember with gearbox issues, required a tow from 700m into Bullock Creek to Bellara Ramp.

Featured Image(above): L to R VMR Bribie Vice Commodore Liz Radajewski, Bribie Island Bowls Club Treasurer Kerry Muller, VMR Senior Coxswain Bob Skinner, Bribie Island Bowls Club General Manager Kevin Bertwistle and VMRBI Commodore Nathan Gundry under the new Bribie Island Bowls Club. sponsorship signs on the VMR gangway.

FRI 04/05 2210pm – 6m ½ Cabin nonmember was 4 hours overdue, SAR to Flinders Reef conducted, returned to base after vessel reported safe and OK. SUN 06/05 0748am – 11.5m Cruiser member lost steering, required tow from Gallagher’s Gutter to Spinnaker Sound Marina.

WED 09/05 1622pm – 5.8m Cruiser member with motor problems required tow from Skippers Canal entrance to Pacific Harbour.

MON 14/05 1219pm – 4.6m Centre Console member with engine problem required a tow from Skirmish Point to Bongaree Ramp.

SAT 19/05 1205pm – 8m Cruiser member with engine failure required a tow from South West tip of Bribie Island to Banksia Beach.

SAT 19/05 1440pm – 5.6m ½ Cabin nonmember with broken starter motor required a tow from Red Beach to Bongaree Ramp.

ANZAC DAY 2018 Wednesday 25th April 2018 VMRBI mustered 26 members to march at the main service at the RSL Bribie Island. Many also attended the “Dawn Service” @ 0428 hrs held at Brennan Park, as the Woorim Site previously used was considered too small for the growing crowds and also associated safety concerns.

Commodore Nathan Gundry and Graham Gibb lead the ANZAC March.


Friday 27th April 2018 Over 120 members and guests attended the April Sunset Drinks, many also took the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Base, Radio Room and our two boats on show just prior to the bar opening. The ladies from the Social Committee once again provided delicious hamburgers for only $5, but unfortunately ran out due to the huge crowd. Trevor Botham as usual, provided the music and vocals for the evening. The usual raffles were held along with tonight’s unsold meat and seafood trays from the Bellara Hotel raffles.


Thursday 3rd May 2018 Planning for this event, to be held Sunday 14th October 2018 is well underway with nearly all exhibitors from last year confirming their intention to participate again this year.

Own a Boat?

You can join VMR Bribie Island online at, phone (07) 3408 7596 or call in person at Marine Parade Bellara, and enjoy many benefits including:

• breakdown assistance.

• vessel & contact details recorded in our database in case of emergency;

• access to first aid, radio, navigation courses plus safety/boating information sessions;

• regular social events;

• reimbursement up to $100/per year for tows by other VMR/Coastguard units; and

• overnight/weekend secure car & trailer parking at the base.

Always remember to LOG ON and LOG OFF with MARINE RESCUE BRIBIE for your safety.

The Importance of a correctly fitted and worn Life Jacket:

Compiled by VMR Coxswain Simon Middap Wear it, Don’t stow it A ‘Life Jacket’ is a personal floatation device (PFD) and is also known as a life preserver, life belt, Mae West, life vest, live saver, buoyancy aid or flotation suit.

They are a vital piece of safety equipment that saves lives in an open boat at sea, it is the seat belt on the water. It’s a lot easier to fit a life jacket properly and wear it as a part of pre-trip preparation than to find it and fit it while in the water during an emergency. Today there are many types of recreational life jackets to be worn in different situations and they should be matched for the total extent of your trip, but all of them should be made to the current Australian Standard AS 4578 although previous standards AS 1512- 1996, AS 1499-1996 and AS 2260-1996 still are in acceptance providing the jacket and label is in good order.

For use in open waters – Level 100, level 150 and level 275 jackets are made for OPEN WATERS, however these can be worn in Partially smooth and smooth waters. They are not for use by Personal Water Craft (PWC) riders, skiers or people being towed.

For use in partially smooth waters – Level 50 jackets are made for PARTIALLY SMOOTH WATERS, however these can be worn in smooth waters as well as by water skiers and people being towed in partially smooth and smooth waters.

For use in smooth waters – Level 50 special purpose or level 50S are for use in SMOOTH WATERS and they can be used for PWC riders, water skiers and people being towed in smooth waters.

Inflatable lifejackets – Inflatable jackets must also be AS4578 compliant. They are gas inflated and do not rely on oral inflation only. They must have markings that show the level of buoyancy, expiry date and annual service history. They can be serviced by the owner/ skipper provided it is executed and documented against the manufacturer’s established service program. These jackets are not recommended for water skiing, tubing, or riding PWC.

Coastal and SOLAS lifejackets – These lifejackets have more flotation than a Level 100 lifejacket under AS 4758. They are bulky lifejackets designed to keep the body afloat for long periods. They have reflective tape and a whistle to attract attention. These lifejackets are mostly carried by commercial boats and recommended to be carried by boats operating long distances offshore.

Life Jacket Rules

The rules for wearing life jackets vary slightly from state to state. In Queensland, our law says that appropriately designed jackets for a trip purpose:

• is mandatory for everybody aboard when crossing a coastal bar in an open boat less than 4.8m;

• is mandatory for children from 12 months to children under 12 in an open boat less than 4.8m and underway;

• and must be highlighted by the owner/ skipper in relation to whereabouts and how to wear;

• and must be stowed in a location labelled “life Jackets”. The label should be red text on white background or white text on a red background; and

• should carry information about the applicable Australian Standard, currently AS 4758 although standards AS 1512-1996, AS 1499-1996 and AS 2260-1996 still are acceptance providing the jacket and label is in good order. The most important thing is make sure it fits and is appropriate for the size of the wearer and the trip duration. Crotch straps are recommended for children.

The life jacket checklist is as follows:

• do you have the appropriate life jacket for the whole trip?

• are the life jackets suited to the activity being undertaken?

• do you have one jacket for everyone on board?

• are the jackets in good condition and correctly labelled?

• if boating at night, do the jackets have reflective tape on them? and

• do you have an appropriate sticker/ label showing where the life jackets are stored? Lots of boaters still have their jackets still in their original packaging – this leads to lack of effective inspection and the deterioration of the straps.

It also makes it difficult to fit in an emergency.

The bottom line

– life jackets should not be stowed and forgotten. They are difficult for a novice to put on in an emergency, and then it’s too late to realise they are inappropriate for the intended person in that emergency. Skippers should inspect each before each trip, show all passengers how to wear and have them easily accessible for use, preferably worn.

VMRBI controlled an exclusion zone for a fireworks display for a wedding at the Sandstone Point Hotel, Saturday 12th May 2018. The bride had her photos taken with the fireworks as the background.

Thanks to VMR Midge Point/VMRAQ Rescue Journal. Most of this article was issued by VMR Midge Point in November 2016. See Keep Watch for VMR Bribie Island’s information sessions on boating and safety at our website

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