Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
On 23 May 2018 the Commission recommended that the Director of Maritime New Zealand use an appropriate mechanism to make it mandatory for crotch straps to be fitted to lifejackets required on board commercial vessels that operate out of bar harbours and off exposed coastlines
Reply Text
Maritime NZ will undertake a review of the current requirements for the carriage of lifejackets on commercial restricted-limits vessels. This review will include analysis of the advantages and disadvantages, in terms of safety outcomes, of wearing lifejackets fitted with crotch straps. Various issues to be considered relating to the use of crotch straps attached to lifejackets are canvassed in my letter of 9 May.

Pending the outcome of the review, Maritime NZ is not in a position to indicate a timeframe for further action regarding the mandatory fitting of crotch straps.

Should the review ultimately conclude that crotch straps on lifejackets will improve safety outcomes, consideration could be given to making this a mandatory requirement. This would require legislative change and would be a decision for Ministers. A recommendation to Ministers would need to be pursued through the Ministry of Transport.

Meanwhile, Maritime NZ will continue to actively promote its safety messages to skippers of commercial vessels advocating the wearing of lifejackets of an appropriate type by every person on board during bar crossings.
Related Investigation(s)