this really is a recurring can of worms.
so for what its worth - my thoughts are
that the forum is on the whole a responsible bunch of people and
as such we are not the target audience for lifejacket indignation.
hence some of the "fatigue" on the subject I think.
Ask a lot of rescue professionals and the MAIB,
and the people they would want to reach with the lifjacket message
are those who buy a cheap boat, maybe on a whim,
because they want to go fishing or take their kids out,
and don't know what they are getting themselves into
and don't equip themselves for it.
Hitting the water at speed can hurt, and be extremely disorientating,
and maybe I'm a little too big boned to "skim" on the surface !
IMHO the UK, Like Ireland, should legislate for lifejacket use,
however my thoughts would be to start
by legislating for the compulsory use
for children 17 years and under.
I think few responsible boaters would argue with such legislation for kids.
US studies show that children who grew up having to wear a lifejacket,
will be much more likely to wear one as an adult.
I also think that the vast majority of people are law abiding,
and that introducing legislation would see it followed,
especially when accompanied by an education campaign.
Again in the USA, some Lakes in Mississipi mandated lifejacket use, and
lifejacket use rose from 14 per cent to 76 per cent.
WillK - who regulates and enforces lifejacket use in Ireland?
Are there any statistics to back up how effective the legislation in Ireland has been?
Do you read of any prosecutions?
Legislation is toothless unless it can be enforced effectively.
I do agree with PD about the posting of pictures
on the internet of poor lifejacket practice.
You just have to take a look at the bulk of the boating magazines
to see people on all kinds of boats not wearing lifejackets.
For those who want to see some change on lifejacket legislation,
write to your MP and the RYA, and make your voice heard.