Do You Have the Right Life Jacket?

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Have the Right Life Jacket?

Do you have the right life jacket? Nearly all boating-related fatalities are the result of drowning and most of these fatalities may have been prevented if a life jacket had been worn.  Your life jacket is the most important piece of boating safety gear, so be sure to always Wear It!

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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.

  • Make sure the life jacket is properly fastened.
  • All straps, buckles or zippers are secure.
  • Hold your arms straight up over your head.
  • Ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings and gently pull up.

How to Care for Your Life Jacket

Refer to OWNER’S MANUAL for specific maintenance requirements.

All Life Jacket Care

  • Use properly
  • No rips, waterlogging or mildew
  • Dry after use
  • Hand wash in mild detergent
  • Store in a dry place when not boating

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Inflatable Life Jacket Care

  • Test: Orally inflate & holds air for 16 hours
  • Inspect inflation mechanism (not discharged, no corrosion, and properly installed)
  • If it holds air, repack and use

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Source: Safe Boating Campaign

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