Wearing lifejackets and kill switch safety lanyards

Maritime Safety Queensland (a branch of the Department of Transport and Main Roads) would like to hear your feedback on the changes we have proposed for wearing lifejackets and kill switch safety lanyards.

A lifejacket is a vital piece of safety equipment that can save lives—think of it as the seatbelt of the sea. For boating safety, it is essential that everyone on board has a lifejacket and wears it. A kill switch safety lanyard is also an important piece of safety equipment that helps to reduce injuries and loss of life at sea. It is designed to connect a person to the engine of a boat or personal watercraft and stop the engine if the person wearing it falls overboard. 

The popularity of recreational boating and personal watercraft (commonly called a jet ski) continues to grow in Queensland. The rise in boating numbers has coincided with a rise in the number of reported marine incidents and collisions between ships.

We are proposing changes to make it compulsory to wear lifejackets and kill switch safety lanyards in some high-risk situations. We think these changes will help improve safety on Queensland waters. Enhancing the rules for wearing lifejackets and kill switch safety lanyards may save more lives and reduce trauma for people using our waterways.

Tragically, every year people go missing and lives are lost at sea. Lifejackets are a key element to preserving life when someone falls overboard. Wearing a kill switch safety lanyard can save someone from being struck after falling overboard, as the boat is likely to continue circling if the engine is running. Ideally, the use of lifejackets and kill switch safety lanyards will see the engine stop as the person falls overboard, and they will remain afloat due to their lifejacket.

Have your say

We would like your feedback about our proposed changes. This survey will take you approximately 5–10 minutes to complete.

The survey will close on Friday 23 December, at 11.59pm.

Answer an online survey

Written submissions

You can also provide a written response by emailing us directly at consultation@msq.qld.gov.au.