New York Mills, Minn. (May 20, 2015) – Lund Boat officials, in marking Safe Boating Week May 16 – 22, remind those on the water this summer that there is no reason not to wear a life vest, officially known as personal flotation devices (PFD). Consider the following:
-Manufacturers are listening to consumers and refining fit and size options: radical changes in lifejacket design resulting in extra-large armholes, shaped fit, flexible panels, pockets, inflatables and much more! There’s a lifejacket for every boating activity and virtually any body.
-Boaters often think they will have time to prepare for a fall overboard and grab a lifejacket and put it on. Reality is that this never happens – a fall overboard is almost always unexpected!
-Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) are considered a vessel and are subject to the same U.S. Coast Guard rules and regulations as that of a boat, including the carriage requirements for lifejackets.
-Always choose your lifejacket based on your planned activity and anticipated water conditions; and always look for the U.S. Coast Guard approval number on a lifejacket before you purchase.
-Most adults only need an extra 7 – 12 lbs of buoyancy to keep their heads above water. A lifejacket gives that extra “lift” that’s needed. How much extra “lift” you need in the water is determined by body weight, fat, most recent meal size, clothing and water conditions. Also, in general the more physically fit you are, the more “lift” you will need.
-Throwable devices (buoys and boat cushions) are not lifejackets and are not designed to be worn. These provide back-up to wearable lifejackets. Consider adding a retrieval line and a whistle to your throwable flotation device.
-Inflatable lifejackets offer less bulk than a traditional inherently buoyant lifejacket, but they do require frequent inspection and maintenance.
-Inflatable lifejackets are not approved for persons under 16, and are not suitable for non-swimmers because they cannot accomplish oral inflation if needed.
-Inflatable lifejackets come in two forms: Automatic inflation, which uses a water-soluble capsule that pierces the CO2 cylinder and releases the gas when submerged, or is subjected to water pressure. And, Manual, which releases the CO2 gas from the cylinder via an activation cord.
-Lifejackets should not ride up on the body in the water. Before use, test your lifejacket to be sure that excessive ride-up does not impair its performance.
-Caring for your Life Jacket: Don't alter your lifejacket - ever. Also, don't use your lifejacket for a kneeling pad or boat fender.
-Be aware of hypothermia. Water colder than 70 degrees F can lower your body temperature. The human body cools 25 times faster in cold water than in air.
-Lifejackets can help you survive cold water.
-Take a boating course – an educated boater is a safe and confident boater which means more fun on the water.