Most boaters know they’re required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket on board for every person on their boat. Boating safety advocates recommend that all boaters and passengers not only have a life jacket, but wear it at all times while boating.
Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Drowning is the reported cause of death in three-fourths of all boating fatalities – and 85 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2015.
The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. Life jackets that use inflatable technologies are cool and comfortable. They may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. Many inflate automatically when immersed in water. There are life jacket styles available for almost any boating activity.
No matter what the activity or style chosen, the most important thing is this: Remember to be responsible and always wear your life jacket while boating.
SELECT THE RIGHT STYLE
Life jackets are designed for a boater’s recreational water activity. A life jacket may be inherently buoyant – using foam or other buoyant materials to stay afloat – or inflatable – providing buoyancy when inflated by relying on CO2 cylinders.
Be sure each life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved and appropriate for the water activity by checking the label printed on the inside of the life jacket.
MAKE SURE IT FITS
You don’t want your life jacket too large or too small. A snug fit is a proper fit. Remember, life jackets for adults do not work for children.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR LIFE JACKET
Refer to OWNER’S MANUAL for specific maintenance requirements.
All Life Jacket Care
Inflatable Life Jacket Care