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Recommended Devices and Equipment For Lifejacket (PFD)

They Won't Work, If You Don't WearThemt!Wearing proper size Lifejackets that are designed for the type of activity, area where you are boating, and conditions under which you are operating is the first step in helping to prevent serious injuries or even loss of life due to drowning.

Equipping PFD's with a few additional devices and knowing how to use them can significantly improve the probability of surviving a mishap while on the water by increasing the probability of a person in the water being quickly located or even found at all in conditions of poor visibility, rough seas, or stormy weather.

The additional devices need to be permanently attached (tethered) to the Lifejacket in a way that they can be easily reached and properly used by a person wearing the PFD in the water while ensuring the device or piece of equipment is not accidentally lost.  

The main purpose of the devices attached (tethered) to a Lifejacket are to assist rescuers with locating the person in the water during periods of both good and bad visibility.  Having access too and properly using the devices listed below can make the difference between life and death during periods of poor weather and between sunset and sunrise when decreased visibility and atmospheric effects can drastically reduce the ability to see, identify, and locate objects in the water even for trained and experienced search and rescue personnel.

The devices and equipment identified below have been grouped into three categories:

  1. Devices that are inexpensive and should be attached (tethered) to every Lifejacket
  2. Devices that are useful in some circumstances that should be attached (tethered) only to responsible adult Lifejackets (PDF's) such as the Captain, Firstmate, and/or other knowledgasble adults on a vessel, and
  3. State-of-the-art safety equipment that is relatively expensive, but will substantially increase ones chances of being found by the US Coast Guard or other Search and Rescue (SAR) units in emergency situations.

Category I - Attach To Every Lifejacket (PFD)

Whistle (sound producing device)

Lifejacket Accessory - Whistle (sound producing device)

Signaling Mirror With Sighting Hole (reflect light during daylight hours)

PFD Accessory - Signaling Mirror with sighting hole

Chemical Light (continuous light producing source)

Lifejacket Accessory - Chemical Light

Electronic Strobe Light (flashing light source)

PFD Accessory - Electronic Strobe Light

Category II - Attach Only To Responsible Adult Lifejackets (PDF's)

Signal Flares are pyrotechnic device that provides long distance highly visible light source of short duration (typically the Captain and/or First Mate lifejackets)

PFD Accesoy - Singal Flares (Captain or adult vests only)

Diver Knife with sharp serrated blade (typically the Captain and/or First Mate lifejackets)

Lifejacket Accessory - Diver Knife (Captain or Adults vests only)

Dye Marker

PFD Accessory - Dye Marker (Daytime use only)

Category III - State-of-the-art Safety Equipment

Portable Waterproof VHF Marine Radio

Lifejacket Accessory - Portable waterproof VHF radio

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

PFD Accessory - Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

Lifejackets Float, You Don't - Wear It, We Do!

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