Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull cops punishment for lifejacket gaffe

Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo credit: Newshub.

Chastened Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confessed his sins and promised to be more diligent around water safety, after an embarrassing incident on Sydney Harbour.

Earlier this week, Mr Turnbull was photographed steering an inflatable dinghy without a lifejacket.

Local ordinances require anyone operating a vessel less than 4.8 metres long alone to wear a safety vest.

The photos were published in The Australian newspaper and NSW Maritime Services told that it would take action against the PM, probably in the form of a AU$250.

Mr Turnbull has taken the punishment on the chin, posting an apology on Facebook.

"Water safety is all important, especially at this time of year, and as I discovered today, we all need to be very alert to rules about wearing lifejackets," he said.

"I wasn't wearing a lifejacket, but as NSW Maritime explained to me today when I called them, because I was in the dinghy alone, even for that very short distance, the NSW regulations required me to wear one.

"The rules can often seem very technical, but they are there to keep us safe and we should all comply with them… so lesson learned."

He also posted the relevant rules relating to lifejackets.