Centre for Maritime Safety

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Waders – general safety note

Waders are worn by some people while fishing from the shore, on small boats or paddle craft and are also sometimes worn when launching a boat.

Waders are intended to keep a person dry and warm. It is important to note however that when wearing waders while boating on ‘alpine waters’ in NSW, an approved lifejacket must also be worn.

If you are wearing waders and end up in deep water you should remain calm, your waders will not pull you under. If they fill with water they will feel heavier and reduce your ability to move and get out of the water; again stay calm. Unless you are familiar with techniques or have practiced removing waders whilst you are in the water then it is recommended you leave them on, stay calm and confident that your lifejacket will help to keep you afloat.

For these reasons if you choose to wear waders it is important to wear a wader belt along with a lifejacket. A securely fitting wader belt will reduce the amount of water getting in your waders; this will assist with your ability to float by trapping air in your waders. Your lifejacket is vital in supporting and floating you. A lifejacket will also aid in your ability to swim back to shore or your vessel using the recommended swimming position of lying on your back, face up and sculling backwards.

Remember, don’t risk it ... wear a lifejacket.