Whether you are going on water adventures or being at sea is part of your job, prioritizing your safety is always important. It is reported that most drowning accidents occur on vacations without wearing life jackets. For seafarers, most accidents happen due to negligence for wearing a life jacket.
To ensure that your vacation or work will be safe, it is best to practice wearing life jackets and consider it on top of your priorities. Here are things to know about life jackets.
How does it save lives?
Life jackets provide buoyancy, which will make you float instantly on water. It is practically helpful if you are a non-swimmer. Through buoyancy, you can quickly jump on the water to save someone; it also keeps you afloat without exerting too much effort if you are tired of swimming.
How will life jackets be useful?
Wearing a life jacket that is fit for your size is the best option in choosing one. Check the label for the recommended weight and chest size of the life jacket. It is important because our diverse body types will float differently on water.
There are different life jackets; that is why it is important to pick one that is appropriate for the intended activity. It is highly recommended to check the life jacket’s quality and the coast guard’s approval before wearing it.
Recommended Life Jackets by the Coast Guard
Different water activities require different kinds of life jackets. For towed water activities and skiing, use a life jacket labeled “for water skiing.” If you are going to operate a personal watercraft, also known as PWC, check for life jackets with the labels water skiing or personal watercraft use.
It is highlighted by the coast guards to use life jackets on water boat recreational leisures and while sailing boats. By following these recommendations, it can be guaranteed that your safety will not be compromised.
Categories of Life Jackets Based on Weight
There are different life jackets to make sure that you will be wearing the appropriate one for your body type and weight. Take this into consideration, especially if you’re going on an adventure with your family.
Adult size life jackets are for users with a weight of more than 88lbs. It is for teenagers with a weight of over 55lbs but not less than or equal to 88lbs. For children, these are users with a weight of over 33lbs but not less than or equal to 55lbs. At the same time, infants should be less than or equal to 33lbs.
Inflatable Life Jackets
It is considered to be a very comfortable kind of life jacket. However, you should closely pay attention to the life jacket’s condition before wearing and look for potential holes that might deflate it. The shape of the life jacket should be a full cylinder, and all the inflator’s status indicators should be green.
If that is not the case, never consider wearing the life jacket and look for another piece that is in perfect condition. Take note that inflatable life jackets are not recommended for weak or non-swimmers.
How to Properly Wear a Life Jacket?
Since the important facts to know about life jackets are already mentioned and briefly discussed above, it is now time to wear a life jacket properly. Here are the necessary steps:
- Put your head through the opening of your life jacket.
- Put your arms through its loops.
- Pull the tapes down firmly and cross the tapes at the back.
- Make a very tight bow and loop it over twice.
- Make sure that the bow is tightly looped to keep the life jacket firmly attached to your body.
It is important to use your whistle and the attached light on your life jackets to attract attention if you are caught up in an unexpected situation. Make sure to follow the five steps to keep yourself safe during water activities.
How to Wear a Life Jacket if you are Already in Water?
During unexpected emergencies, you might be caught up with adrenaline and instantly jump on the water without properly wearing your life jacket to save your life quickly. If this situation happens, you can still put on your life jacket properly in water, and here are the steps how:
- Swim to the life jacket and place it under your chest.
- Put your head through the opening together with your arms through the loops at the same time.
- Hold the tapes down firmly and cross the tapes at the back.
- Make a very tight bow and loop it over twice around the front of the jacket.
- After securing the loop, roll onto your back, and do the “help position.”
Use the whistle and the light attached to the life jacket if you need to attract attention. Remember these five simple steps so that you will not panic during these kinds of emergencies.