We always hear that from friends, fellow boaters, coastguards, and boating blogs like yours truly, and yet there are still plenty who don’t follow this rule. In 2017, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Recreational Boating Statistics reported that 39 out of 54 people who died drowning were not wearing life jackets in the northeast. The year before that a total of 83% in all of America who died drowning were not wearing life jackets.
Now let’s just emphasize the last part – not wearing life jackets!
Taking safety precautions doesn’t make you any less of an adventurist. If any, it makes you a smart boater!
Choosing your PFD
When choosing your PFD, you need to make sure of the following:
- PFD is appropriate for the location and activity of boating
- PFD is the right size for you! You want one that’s buoyant enough to support you in the water
- PFD is approved by the US Coast Guard
There are 5 types of PFDs that you can choose from. It is best to be familiar with each one so you know which is best for you!
- Type I – It is used for rough waters, remote waters where rescue may take time to come. It also is known as an offshore life jacket
- Type II – It is used for calm, inland or navigable waters of US where rescue can be immediate. It is also known as the near-shore buoyant vest.
- Type III – It is also used for calm, inland waters, however, its difference with type II is that it wearers must put themselves in a face-up position. It is also known simply as a flotation aid.
- Type IV – It is used for all kinds of waters but it is not designed to be worn. An example would be those donut-like flotation devices. It is also known as the device.
- Type V – It is used for specific activities according to its label. It is also known as special use device.
Now that you know the different kinds of PFDs, choose one that suits you, the place and the activity. Remember PFDs saves lives! It’s that simple. Don’t risk your life. Wearing doesn’t make you less tough; it makes you wise.
Always bring PFDs when boating!