Boating Safety 101: Life Jackets
Did you know that the cause of death in over 70% of all boating accidents each year is drowning and that 85% of those drownings involve men, women and children who were not wearing life jackets or PFDs?
U.S. Coast Guard regulations require that each recreational boat be equipped with an appropriate life jacket (PFD) for each person on board.
Many states require that children, water skiers, persons being towed behind recreational vessels and riders on personal watercraft wear appropriate life jackets. We suggest that you check your state laws before boating.
But just what is “appropriate?”
Type I PFDs, or Offshore Life Jackets, provide the most substantial life saving potential with a minimum of 22 lbs of buoyancy for adults and 11 lbs for children. They turn most unconscious wearers face up and are recommended for off shore recreation, rough water and any weather situation.
Type II PFDs, or Near Shore Life Jackets, are slightly less buoyant than Offshore and are recommended if you boat in calm, protected waters or for children in supervised pools.
Type III PFDs, or Flotation Aids, while more lightweight, do not provide adequate flotation for many overboard situations and should not be relied upon for life saving performance.
If you’re a parent, a proper fit for your children is very important. Check out this video for helpful and informative tips on choosing the right life jacket.