Here are some common misconceptions about wearing life jackets that can lead to death by drowning if unchecked. If you are a regular in the water, please read this article for your safety and your loved ones.
#1 Life Jacket Myths – “They are only for children.”
False. Saying life jackets are only for kids is like saying seat-belts are only for kids. The danger risks apply to everyone, at any age. Adults are especially in need of wearing life jackets when you consider alcohol usage and the coordination impairment that results.
#2 Life Jacket Myths – “I’m a very talented swimmer.”
Unfortunately, many have drowned despite this fact. This happens because people underestimate how strong water can actually be, don’t wear their life jackets, and then all too late find they cannot match the water’s strength and get pulled under. Another thing worth thinking about is that you do not know how you will respond in a scary situation. Due to panic, some people freeze and find themselves unable to move. In water and without a flotation device, this soon becomes deadly. Others freak out and use up vital energy in those initial minutes of panic, leaving them too exhausted to tread water later. Wearing a life jacket means you can stop and rest whilst staying afloat.
#3 Life Jacket Myths – “They can break your neck.”
Life jackets were indeed responsible for some of the deaths on the Titanic. This has since been investigated at some length. It was found that as the jackets used to be made of cork and some people jumped from great heights into the water, the jackets broke the necks of the wearers or knocked them unconscious. This tragedy has resulted in the redesign of life jackets since neck breakage is no longer a concern. Lifeboats and Lifevests
#4 Life Jacket Myths – “I’ll put it on when needed.”
You may not have the time or presence of mind to locate your jacket and properly put it on if something unexpected happens. As mentioned earlier, you can never be sure how you, or those around you, will react when an emergency arises.
#5 Life Jacket Myths – “We aren’t in profound water.”
The sad truth is that a person can drown in as little as a half cup of water. If you were to hit your head and be knocked unconscious for just 60 seconds (or for a child 20 seconds), you could easily drown if you could not hold your head up out of the water.
Make sure that your jacket is fitted to your body perfectly. That way, the jacket will not ride up above your head and will hold your head high enough to keep your nose and mouth clear of the water level. You can even buy jackets now that swivel so that your face is always pointing towards the sky.
#6 Life Jacket Myths – “They look and feel icky.”
Let’s face it. Orange isn’t everyone’s color. I suppose we do need to think for a minute about those perfect selfies you wish to take to gain those all-important #sporty followers. Good news, my stylish friends! Life jackets are no longer the hideous, cumbersome things they once were! These days they are quite the svelte and fashionable activewear, not to mention warm and comfortable. What’s stopping you?
#7 Life Jacket Myths – “They restrict movement too much.”
If you have selected a jacket that has been designed for, say, fishing, and then you try to water-ski in it, then yes, you may have a point. On the other hand, if you make sure you have the right tool for the job, your movement needs will be nicely taken care of. Ensure you are wearing the right life jacket for your chosen activity, and you will be well away.
#8 Life Jacket Myths – “An incident probably won’t happen anyway.”
No one ever plans on getting themselves in an accident, do they? Put fearlessness in its place and your life jacket on your back.
#9 Life Jacket Myths – “Life jackets explode.”
It is a myth that there is explosive material in the jacket to trigger automatic inflation. This is because of the sound the small cartridge of carbon dioxide makes when triggered to release and inflate the jacket.
#10 Life Jacket Myths – “One careful perusal will do.”
No! Just like checking your car tire treads for wear, you need to pay constant attention to anything you are using for safety purposes. It should be your regular practice to have all passengers check for any tears or punctures in their jackets that could stop it holding air, and that the carbon dioxide can is in full working order and can be properly screwed in.
Complacency has no place at sea. Safety is key. Always wear a life jacket.