Just as you know that a pair of vinyl shoes won’t last as long as a genuine leather pair and a polyester suit won’t hang as well as one made from quality wool, the same standards apply to your lifejacket.
It’s important to choose quality over price when buying your lifejacket. It must fit properly, be right for its intended purpose and have the capacity to save your life in an emergency.
Here’s a short list of Do’s and Don’ts for lifejacket wearing that Trinny and Susannah from TV’s “What Not to Wear” would be proud of………not that I’ve ever watched the program, you understand!
To be safe on the water, DO make sure that your lifejacket:-
Is Australian Standard AS 4758 Level 100+. This type of lifejacket will keep your head above water even if you’re unconscious and is suitable for offshore use.
Fits properly – especially children’s lifejackets. It’s easy for a small child to slip out of an over-large jacket. Once fitted, grab the shoulder straps and pull it upwards. If it slides off the child, it’s of no value!
Is checked regularly to make sure all the fittings are in good working order.
Is out of its original packaging and you know how to put it on quickly in an emergency. Test yourself with an imagined only 60 seconds to spare.
Do make sure that you induct your crew into where lifejackets are kept on board and that they also know how to put them on and secure them.
Do consider wearing your lifejacket at all times when on the water.
Buy on price only and skimp on quality.
Think you’ll never need your lifejacket and buy one just to meet your state’s legislated requirements for having one on board.
Forget to check your lifejacket at regular intervals
Forget to have the 2 yearly service as directed by the manufacturer.