By 3 News online staff
Changes to lifejacket laws in Auckland will put the direct onus on the skipper to keep their passengers and crew safe.
From Labour Weekend, everyone on vessels under six metres long will be legally required to wear a lifejacket, unless the skipper says it is safe to take them off.
Police say the changes to the Navigation and Safety by-laws means the responsibility for the safety of crew and passengers is “clearly placed” on the skipper.
“If skippers make this conscious decision and something goes wrong, police will look very closely at holding the skipper personally accountable by investigating and laying criminal charges where appropriate,” a police spokesperson says.
Police and others involved in maritime safety say they will be proactively enforcing the message of the law change throughout summer.