2 Nov 2009

Lake deaths prompt rethink on lifejacket laws

10:49 pm on 2 November 2009

The deaths of five recreational fishermen in the past month havr spurred Maritime New Zealand into rethinking lifejacket laws.

Three recreational fishermen drowned at Lake Tekapo, one at Lake Rotomo and another at Lake Onslow in Central Otago. None were wearing lifejackets.

The current law says lifejackets must be carried and must be worn in situations of heightened risk.

Maritime New Zealand recreational boating manager Jim Lott says public consultation is under way to make it compulsory to wear lifejackets on all vessels less than six metres in length by default.

In Queenstown, the district council has adopted a bylaw making the wearing of lifejackets on boats compulsory.