Life Jackets


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All vessels shall carry and have immediately available at least one USCG approved Life Jacket for each person on board the vessel or being towed by the vessel.

All vessels over 15 feet with the exception of canoes and kayaks, shall carry one USCG approved Type IV throw-able device.

All children 12 year of age or under shall wear a Life Jacket while underway, unless they are deck in an enclosed cabin.

Personal Watercraft operators and passengers shall wear a USCG approved Life Jacket while underway.

Type V Life Jackets can be substituted in place of a Type I, II, or III Life Jacket if it is USCG approved for the activity of which it is being used. Except on Personal Watercraft and by thoes 16 years of age and under.

Other than being USCG approved, Life Jackets shall be:

Types of Life Jackets:

Type I:
Off-Shore Life Jacket
Buoyancy: 22 lbs Minimum
Type I Life Jacket
Type II:
Near-Shore Life Jacket  Buoyancy: 15.5 lbs Minimum
Type II Life Jacket
Type III:
Flotation Aide
Buoyancy: 15.5 lbs Minimum
Type III Life Jacket
Type IV:
Throw-able Device

Type IV Life Jacket
Type III/V:
Inflatable Life Jacket
Buoyancy: 22 lbs Minimum
Type III/V Life Jacket
Type V:
Special Use Life Jacket

Photo Not Available

How can a Life Jacket with 22 lbs of buoyancy hold up a 200 lbs person in the water?
You have to do the math! Approximately 80% of the body is water.

Water in the body has no weight in water. So now we are down to having to support only 40 pounds.
200 lbs. X 80% = 160 lbs.
200 lbs. - 160 lbs. = 40 lbs.

But the PFD only has a buoyancy rating of 22 lbs. How can it hold up 40 lbs?

On average our bodies also have 15% fat and fat is lighter than water.
200 lbs. X 15% = 30 lbs.
40 lbs. - 30 lbs. = 10 lbs.

Now you can see that the average 200 lbs person only weighs about 10 lbs in water. The 22 lbs of buoyancy in your PFD is more than enough to keep the person afloat.


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