Eleven out of the 15 victims were not wearing a lifejacket and a further victim was wearing an inflatable lifejacket that was not deployed.
Eleven out of the 15 victims were not wearing a lifejacket and a further victim was wearing an inflatable lifejacket that was not deployed. Blainey Woodham

The fatal tinny: How men are putting their lives at risk

MEN not wearing lifejackets in small boats made up around two-thirds of NSW boating fatalities in 2014/15, according to recent government stats.

Each of the 16 fatalities for the period was male.

The RMS report Boating Incidents in NSW - Statistical Statement 2014-15 showed fatalities had doubled from the previous year and serious injuries were higher than the long term average, with 16 fatalities and 82 people seriously injured.

"The majority of deaths occur when people are forced into the water, underscoring the need for everyone to wear a modern lifejacket every time they go boating," a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.

Key points of the report include:

  • The total of recreational (15) and commercial (one) boating fatalities was close to the long-term average (16.9).
  • A long-term downward trend remained evident for recreational and commercial fatal incident rates.
  • Nine of the 14 fatal recreational incidents involved a vessel less than 6m long and of those, five were less than 4.8m.
  • Eleven out of the 15 victims were not wearing a lifejacket and a further victim was wearing an inflatable lifejacket that was not deployed. If more reason for purchasing and wearing an auto-inflate jacket were necessary, here it is.
  • Nine out of the 11 people presumed drowned in recreational boating incidents were not wearing lifejackets at the time. The long-term rate of non-lifejacket wear among drowning victims remains around 90%.

The long-term data also suggests that more than 60% of recreational boating fatalities could have been prevented if all people presumed drowned had worn lifejackets, regardless of requirements.



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