Boating Safety should be at the front of your mind when heading out on the water. While there are many different types of Life Jackets out on the market, your primary concern is: do I have the correct product for my situation?
What ever term you use to describe it, whether it be ‘life jacket’, ‘life vest’ or ‘PFD’ it is important that you, your family or friends are provided with the right selection. Life Vests are broken down into three primary categories:
1. Inherently Buoyant (Foam)
3. Hybrids that are both made of foam and inflatable.
PFD’s are further broken down into the following sub-categories:
* Type I – Offshore Life Jacket – Primarily used for extended survival in rough, open waters.
* Type II – Near shore Life Jacket – used for calmer inland water areas.
* Type III – Flotation Aid – Comfortable and light weight, used in conditions where rescue is considered to be quick.
* Type IV – Throwable PFD – Must be readily available in boats over 16 feet. Styles: Ring or cushion.
* Type V – Special use Device – used when higher buoyancy levels are required.
* Type III and V – Inflatable. – will inflate quickly, turning users face-up quicker than other categories.
Selecting the right Life Preserver is not rocket science but your decision must be Coast Guard approved, in good serviceable condition, and an appropriate size for the intended user. Most come in Adult, Youth and Child sizes except Inflatable Life Vest that only come in Adult size. Life Vests must be snug when all zippers and fasteners are connected.
It is mandatory that each person in the boat have one available to them and easily accessible. A Life Jacket is only good if worn by the boater Check local state and Federal laws regarding Life Preservers as these laws can change from time to time.
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