Safety equipment

Personal flotation devices - life jackets

Personal flotation devices (PFDs), also known as life jackets, are an essential item of marine safety equipment.

PFD 1 LifejacketPFD 1

A Type 1 PFD has sufficient flotation to support body and head. The flotation collar keeps your head above water. Do not use as a cushion. Not permitted for water skiing, aqua-planing and like activity. It must comply with one or more of the following standards:

  • Australian Standards AS 4758.1: Personal flotation devices classified as providing level 100 or level 150 buoyancy (or more), or Personal flotation devices—Type 1 AS 1512.1996
  • Appendix R of section 10 of the Uniform Shipping Laws Code
  • With a PFD intended for use by adults Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB-65.11-M88; with a PFD intended for use by children CAN/CGSB-65.15-M88
  • European Standard EN399-1993 Lifejackets-275N, EN396-1993 Lifejackets-150N, or EN395-1993 Lifejackets-100N
  • International Organization for Standardization ISO 12402-2, ISO 12402-3, or ISO 12402-4
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards UL1180 Fully inflatable recreational personal flotation devices
  • New Zealand Standard NZ5823:2001 Type 401
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority Marine Orders Part 25 related to the type of life-jackets required to be carried on Australian registered ships.

PFD 2 Buoyancy VestPFD 2

A Type 2 PFD has less flotation than a PFD 1, with flotation panels front and back only. Is less restrictive to wear than PFD 1, but will not keep your head above water if you are unconscious. A PFD 2 is suitable for use for sports such as water skiing, sail boarding, kite boarding and sailing dinghies. It must comply with one or more of the following standards:

  • Australian Standard AS 4758.1: Personal flotation devices classified as providing level 50 buoyancy, or AS1499:1996
  • European Standard EN393-1993 Lifejackets-50N
  • International Organization for Standardization ISO 12402-5.

PFD 3 Buoyancy VestPFD 3

Similar to PFD2, a Type 3 PFD doesn't meet the Australian Standards Association colour standards. These are designed for high-speed water sports such as water skiing, aqua-planing, operating PWC and sail boarding. It must comply with one or more of the following standards:

  • Australian Standard AS 4758.1: Personal flotation devices in relation to a PFD classified as providing level 50 special purpose (50S) buoyancy, or AS2260.

SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Lifejacket

A very bulky lifejacket, designed to keep the body afloat for long periods. Has a light and whistle attached to attract attention. Carried by commercial vessels and recommended for use on larger vessels operating far offshore.

Coastal lifejacket

This multi-fit lifejacket has more flotation than a PFD 1. It has a whistle attached for attracting attention. It is recommended for use on larger vessels operating far offshore.


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Page last updated 29 November 2016

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
URL:
http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/boating-and-marine/boat-and-marine-safety/marine-safety-equipment/personal-flotation-devices
Last Updated:
29/11/16
Printed on:
26/04/17
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