Say No to life jackets! Sign this Petition
If you're living and kiting in New South Wales, as of right now - you're breaking the law if you don't wear a life jacket! On the 1st of July, the Maritime Safety Regulations 2016 were released, and hidden deep down in a paragraph about another paragraph, was a line reading along the lines of "Kiteboarders must wear life jackets at all times".
A month ago, kiteboarders were only required to wear life jackets when kiteboarding more than 400m from shore, a reasonable rule which covered some racers and anyone doing long distance runs. Most kiteboarders stay within 200m from shore, or less if kiting in the waves, which is the major reason why life jackets aren't necessary and considered MORE of a risk by many.
"Over 16 years of existence, we have no record of a drowning death to a kiteboarder." Says Kiteboarding Australia. "Kiteboarders, like surfers, are used to being in the water. They expect to need to swim. In addition, we have not seen any significant injuries as a result of kiteboarders not wearing lifejackets."
So why the change?
NSW Maritime are yet to comment, but there's still time to overturn the ruling and return to the prior rules. Put your name to a petition by Kiteboarding Australia, it only takes a few seconds! Even if you're living in other states around Australia, help out your fellow NSW kiters!
Sign the petition by clicking the link below.kiteboardingaus.com.au/sign-our-online-petition-to-make-the-maritime-regulation-2016-safe-for-kiteboarders
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