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Prime Minister of Australia slapped with $250 fine for operating a boat without wearing a life vest

By William Martin 12:15 PM January 1, 2018
Malcolm Turnbull with his wife Lucy

The prime minister of Australia was publicly shamed after being seen operating a boat without wearing a life vest.

New South Wales Maritime Services confirmed that officials handed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a $250 fine for breaking the law by operating a vessel without a life vest.

In response, Turnbull wrote: “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 life jackets.

“Yesterday, I was moving an inflatable dinghy from a jetty to the beach – only about 20 meters, and always very close to the shore. I wasn’t wearing a life jacket, 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 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. I will make sure I always wear a life jacket in my dinghy regardless of how close I am to the shore, just as I always do on my kayak.”

The offense became known after someone managed to take a picture of the prime minister as he was operating his boat outside his home in Sydney Harbour.

The picture was then uploaded to the Internet, where it went viral.

Eventually, the photo reached the New South Wales Maritime Services and agents investigating the prime minister.

On Friday, officials went to Turnbull’s home and they handed him the $250 fine.

A spokesperson for the prime minister said that Turnbull plans to pay the fine.