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Old 03 November 2012, 04:01   #1
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e petition for lifejackets

I have just seen this asking for compulsory lifejacket use, It has started doing the rounds by media forums


Make the wearing of lifejackets complusory---

Make the wearing of lifejackets complusory - e-petitions
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Old 03 November 2012, 04:05   #2
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Would the RYA help in promoting this?
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Old 03 November 2012, 05:14   #3
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Would the RYA help in promoting this?
I doubt it - their general stance on legislation is that it will be hard to enforce, will limit the freedoms of their members and make it harder for people to get involved in the sports/activities they promote. Their general position is that education is preferable to legislation.

Like most e-petitions this one is poorly thought out and poorly worded. "...make the wearing of a lifejacket or buoyancy aid compulsory for everyone using UK waters..." So does that mean the skipper of an 11m cabin rib needs to wear one inside his protective bubble? what about a 40ft yacht, and does it change when on deck, or if clipped on, or when working the foredeck in a F8? how about a windsurfer (not that common a practice) or someone playing on a surfboard / stand-up paddle board just off a beach. How about the Ardrossan-Arran ferry, or the 5 minutes sheltered crossing over the clyde at Renfrew?

As far as I know there is no evidence from Ireland where such laws were introduced that: (a) irresponsible boaters comply with the law; (b) fatalities have reduces; (c) it has been in any other way good for boating, safety or society.
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Old 03 November 2012, 06:24   #4
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Are swimmers and fishermen (on a beach) not also using the water.

Does it apply to inland / sea.

However funadmentally while I always wear a LJ or BA when on an open boat and think people who don't should be shot it doesn't mean you wont drown:
http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/1002...rJs1wmFe7aFw8A

I'd rather see the money it would cost on enforcement be spent on better coastgaurd cover to educate... ...send a CG along a beach on a nice day they can have a chat to plenty silly parents.
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Old 03 November 2012, 06:27   #5
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I don't believe the purpose of e-petitions is to get the exact wording of the petition as a law.

I think it is too highlight to HMG that sufficient people have taken an interest and the topic should be discussed in parliament.

Once a certain number of signatures have been received (100,000 I think) then the topic must be discussed.

IF a law is put on the statutes then it would cover things like ferry boats etc.

I believe that people who run boating ponds insist on children under a certain age wearing bouyancy aids as it is a requirement of the insurance, they also make them available for anyone who wants one.

It's a bit like seat belts and child seats, legal requirement but people still don't use them.
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Old 03 November 2012, 06:44   #6
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I believe that people who run boating ponds insist on children under a certain age wearing bouyancy aids as it is a requirement of the insurance, they also make them available for anyone who wants one.
Any well constructed risk assessment would at least conclude that, if not conslude that everyone should. The issue is people who aren't sitting down to do a pen and paper risk assessment misjudge the risks and so don't wear a LJ...
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Old 03 November 2012, 06:59   #7
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If it did become compulsary in law what's the next step with regards to an annual service for auto or gas inflation types , after all you could buy an auto inflate and wear it for the next 10 years without a service , it may not work but you are still wearing a lifejacket so would then a compusery service or mot type or an indate inspection then have to be implemented too for certain types
,then there's the lifejacket or floatation device debate
Schemes like the Rnli sea safety & education are a better option in my opinion .
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Old 03 November 2012, 07:07   #8
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Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Are swimmers and fishermen (on a beach) not also using the water.

Does it apply to inland / sea.
The original link does clarify that - all water both inland and coastal.

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Originally Posted by EnglishLes View Post
I don't believe the purpose of e-petitions is to get the exact wording of the petition as a law.
Of course that is the job of parliament, but how could I sign a petition (even if I believed it was the best way to make boating safer) if its not clear whether we are talking about impacting on (wind)surfing, small open boats, yachts or ferries.

Quote:
I think it is too highlight to HMG that sufficient people have taken an interest and the topic should be discussed in parliament.
Or at least to pretend to the public that there is a way for them to influence policy, and that government is in touch / listening!
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Old 03 November 2012, 07:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m chappelow View Post
If it did become compulsary in law what's the next step with regards to an annual service for auto or gas inflation types , after all you could buy an auto inflate and wear it for the next 10 years without a service , it may not work but you are still wearing a lifejacket so would then a compusery service or mot type or an indate inspection then have to be implemented too for certain types
,then there's the lifejacket or floatation device debate
Schemes like the Rnli sea safety & education are a better option in my opinion .
Yep.

The only way to assure that a LJ would work is to use the clunky, ancient foam things the yanks are stuck with by USCG regs.
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Old 03 November 2012, 08:01   #10
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Yep.

The only way to assure that a LJ would work is to use the clunky, ancient foam things the yanks are stuck with by USCG regs.
That in the light of the " Last Call "incident at Whitby a few years back dident seem up to the job with regards stitching /webbing .
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Old 03 November 2012, 11:33   #11
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Oh not this again... If I want to wear a lifejacket then I will. If I don't, I won't. I quite frankly don't care what the goody-two-shoes health and safety brigade has to say on the matter. If I fall off my boat and drown tomorrow then it's my own fault.

Plus, how on earth do you enforce this? It's just going to cost money and take up valuable resources that could be put to much better use elsewhere.
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Old 03 November 2012, 11:39   #12
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Oh not this again... If I want to wear a lifejacket then I will. If I don't, I won't. I quite frankly don't care what the goody-two-shoes health and safety brigade has to say on the matter. If I fall off my boat and drown tomorrow then it's my own fault.

Plus, how on earth do you enforce this? It's just going to cost money and take up valuable resources that could be put to much better use elsewhere.
Sorry, selfish attitude there, what about your loved ones, and the people who have to clear up after you.

Go pull bodies out of the water, deliver them to the dock where relatives are standing then bring the money issue back up.

Oh, and yes, I do know how it feels.....
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Old 03 November 2012, 11:40   #13
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Unenforceable, even commercially we see others working without LJs it has to be voluntary process with some persuasion to wear one just like kill cords- they work if worn
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Old 03 November 2012, 14:02   #14
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Old 03 November 2012, 16:01   #15
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Sorry, selfish attitude there, what about your loved ones,
Then your loved ones should be persauding you to wear a LJ with exactly that argument. I'm far more likely to wear a life jacket, kill cord etc becase I worry about the effect it'll have on my family than a 60 fine etc...

Its the same reason I wear a seat belt / don't frive at 100MPH through a built up area...

Quote:
and the people who have to clear up after you.
I'm gonna get eaten alive for this... ...but... ...if you are referring to the RNLI they are volunteers. I don't for one minute want to suggest this is a nice task, but people volunteer to do these things... You are asking the country to legislate so that others dont have to feel bad yet people volunteer for these roles.

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Go pull bodies out of the water, deliver them to the dock where relatives are standing then bring the money issue back up.
So the policeman who now goes to tell the mother of an 18 year old child who's just been killed by crashing his car and wasn't wearing a seatbelt feels better when he says "I'm really sorry Mrs X, your child died, but if they'd not broken the law they might not have." Whereas 30 years ago he wouldn't have done when he said the child might not have died if theyd worn the seat belt that the car legally had to be fitted with? In both cases Mum is left wodnering why the child didn't wear the seat belt.

As Poly said - if Ireland can show a reduction in deaths that changes the whole situation as it reduces the incidence of people dieing. But I've yet to find a boater who hasn't considered if they should wear a lifejacket, they just reach a different conclusion from me.

And from my perspective as a dinghy sailor I see a lot of people sailing with bouyancy aids that could well be 30+ years old and look as though the stitching is falling appart and they might not really make a difference. Hard enough to police that you wear something, even harder for anyone to tell if its of any use.
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Old 03 November 2012, 19:18   #16
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Sorry, selfish attitude there, what about your loved ones, and the people who have to clear up after you.

Go pull bodies out of the water, deliver them to the dock where relatives are standing then bring the money issue back up.

Oh, and yes, I do know how it feels.....
That isn't an argument. You can apply that logic to literally any risk that it is possible to take.
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Old 04 November 2012, 04:44   #17
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Tell you what, ill make up some stickers you can put on your console.

D.N.R.

Do not Rescue

If you cant be arsed to do the simple things that help yourself why should anyone else be bothered?


The seat belt analogy is moot, 90% of people wear then because its prudent to do so, the 10% left no matter what the penalty is will not comply.

Take drink driving, 40 years ago it was the norm and not a social stigma, now any one caught gets no sympathy, opinions change, most people now realise the dangers that come with DD and don't, most because of the danger, and only some because of the law.

Should we not legislate for anything then?
Some people are smart enough to work things out for themselves, some are not and need guidance.

I am not a killjoy and love throwing my boat around in rough water. However, I am smart enough to realise the dangers and do those things that mitigate to a reasonable degree.

If I am on an 11m cabin rib would i wear a LJ?
Depends on the circumstances, in the cabin in a force 1 probably not.
working on deck in force 5 definitely.

If you think you are a good seaman, then safety of you and your crew is the no1 priority, if you don't wear a LJ when its is sensible to do so, then your not a good seaman. its that simple.

Use a little common sense please, Its not when the police have to deliver bad news that is the issue, its how often.
Changing attitudes is a process, using a law is only one method.
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Old 04 November 2012, 04:47   #18
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Unenforceable, even commercially we see others working without LJs it has to be voluntary process with some persuasion to wear one just like kill cords- they work if worn
They manage to enforce marine laws it in the US, and DUI in a boat affects you car driving licence too. (at least in NY)
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Old 04 November 2012, 05:30   #19
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Like all the other bits of 'elf & safety legislation that we are increasingly being buried under, this misses the root point of evolution. If you need to tell someone to do something that might or might not save their life, then you are doing the human race a disservice by allowing them to pollute the gene pool. Let Darwin sort 'em out.
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Old 04 November 2012, 05:41   #20
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If you cant be arsed to do the simple things that help yourself why should anyone else be bothered?
I'm not sure I understand your point. If people can't be bothered to wear a life jacket you want to make it against the law so that we can be even smugger when they drown?

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The seat belt analogy is moot, 90% of people wear then because its prudent to do so, the 10% left no matter what the penalty is will not comply.
What was the voluntary usage level before 1983 (when it became law)? Prudence has little to do with it - compliance and habit are why most people wear one.

A quick google suggests the government of the time were predicting saving 1000 lives a year on the road - that seems a reasonably convincing argument given the vehicles all already had them fitted. In fact the fatality rate for vehicle occupants didn't fall dramatically at the time (perhaps risk compensation?) but did once rear seatbelts became mandatory too.

There are still 300-400 deaths from people not wearing seatbelts each year in the UK. Despite their presence (and essential functionality) being checked each year at an MOT, widely accepted that they are used and effective, a legal requirement and enforced by police officers who are 'around', and carrying both fines and penalty points on a license. At sea there is no MOT, no police officers (99.99% of the time) to see what you do, no license to endorse (or registration plate to help find the registered keeper) etc...

Compare that to the total number of deaths at sea... (http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.u...eport_2010.pdf) which once you drill down (ignoring suicides, ponds, ice, rescuing animals etc - where nobody would be likely to wear a lifejacket) gives you: 67 cases where a new law might make a life jacket mandatory - no idea how many would have actually been saved, certainly not all. In fact more people drown walking/cycling/running (next to water) than taking part in (relevant) water sports - perhaps we should make it mandatory to wear a life jacket when doing those activities.

Now if you are in government you can try to enforce an existing law relatively easily and perhaps save 300 lives or you can make a new law which is virtually impossible to enforce etc - and might save less than 70 lives. Where would you invest your resources?

Quote:
Take drink driving, 40 years ago it was the norm and not a social stigma, now any one caught gets no sympathy, opinions change, most people now realise the dangers that come with DD and don't, most because of the danger, and only some because of the law.
I think you are assuming that your values apply to others. I'm not sure it is the case. Young drivers are now far more likely to drink and drive that older drivers - the stigma hasn't been communicated to them the same way. There is evidence that you are more likely to have an accident with even a small amount of alcohol yet many people happily drive just under the limit. That implies it is the consequences of being caught not the appreciation of risk which makes people 'stop at one drink'.

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Should we not legislate for anything then?
Some people are smart enough to work things out for themselves, some are not and need guidance.
only when there are likely to be actual benefits. With < 70 fatalities per annum, how many do you really think would be saved by mandatory life jacket use? Bear in mind that there will be significant non-compliance?

I am not a killjoy and love throwing my boat around in rough water. However, I am smart enough to realise the dangers and do those things that mitigate to a reasonable degree.

Quote:
If I am on an 11m cabin rib would i wear a LJ?
Depends on the circumstances, in the cabin in a force 1 probably not.
working on deck in force 5 definitely.
how will you legislate for that... is it not easier that we actually educate people to work it out for themselves. I can tell you from other areas that once you define a set of 'legal rules' that must be followed stupid people will treat it as the absolute maximum and common sense is lost.

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If you think you are a good seaman, then safety of you and your crew is the no1 priority, if you don't wear a LJ when its is sensible to do so, then your not a good seaman. its that simple.
And making it law would change that how? I don't think anyone is arguing we ban life jackets - rather than mandatory use in certain circumstances isn't going to achieve the state objective - of reducing fatalities.

Quote:
Use a little common sense please, Its not when the police have to deliver bad news that is the issue, its how often.
Emm... so would we not be better focussing our efforts on avoiding road related deaths which are much more common?
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