Lifejacket Compliance

The following provisions apply to all recreational craft (other than personal watercraft (PWC)):

  1. All persons on board any craft of less than 7m in length must wear a personal floatation device (PFD) or a lifejacket while on board an open craft or while on the deck of a decked craft, other than when the craft is made fast to the shore.
  2. The master or owner of a craft is required to ensure that either a PFD or a lifejacket is carried on the craft for each person on board.
  3. The master or owner of a craft is required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all persons under the age of sixteen must wear a personal floatation device or a lifejacket while on board an open craft or while on the deck of a decked craft, other than when it is made fast to the shore or at anchor.
  4. The term “open craft refers to a craft without a cabin or below deck facilities for persons on board and where any seating is exposed or partially exposed to the elements.
  5. The master or owner of a craft (other than a PWC) is required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person wears a PFD/lifejacket while:
    • (a)Being towed by the craft, or
    • (b)On board a vessel or object of any kind being towed by the craft.

The wearing of PFD/lifejacket requirements under these Regulations do not apply to a craft (other than a PWC), which is not underway, when the person:

  • Is wearing, putting on, or taking off, scuba diving equipment, or
  • Is about to engage in, or has just completed swimming (including snorkelling) from the craft.


Lifejacket Regulations on Personal Watercraft (PWC – Jet Skis)

Every person on a personal watercraft (PWC) is required to wear a PFD/lifejacket at all times while on board, or being towed in any manner by a PWC. The master or owner of a PWC is required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person under 16 years of age complies with the requirement to wear a PFD/lifejacket while on board or being towed on a PWC.

Lifejacket Regulations for water-skiing, wake boarding, paragliding & other towed rides
The Merchant Shipping (pleasure craft) (lifejackets and operation)(safety) Regulation, 2005 – S.I 921 of 2005 applies as follows to water skiing, wake boarding, paragliding & other towed rides. All persons while being towed by a pleasure craft or on board any vessel or object of any kind being towed by a craft must wear a personal floatation device or lifejacket. The responsibility for compliance with this requirement lies with the master or owner of the towing craft. Persons partaking in towed rides must not consume alcohol or drugs.

Age restrictions (applies except in Rescue or Emergency Situations)
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 years of age to operate or control either;

  • A Fast Powerboat
  • A Personal Watercraft

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 12 years of age to operate or control any motor / powerboat with an engine over 5Hp (3.7 Kw.)

In these Regulations ”fast power craft” means a pleasure craft, other than a personal watercraft, the principal means of propulsion of which is derived from a mechanical power source and which attains or can attain a speed through or over water equal to or exceeding 17 knots.

Please read the full details at: Marine Safety Directorate

@ Killaloe Coast Guard 2018