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    Life Jackets: A Gift for Life

    Life Jackets: A Gift for Life Blog Header Picture

    Photo By Pamela Doty | Blog Header Picture read more read more



    Story by Pamela Doty 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Water Safety

    If you’re having trouble coming up with gift ideas for your loved ones who enjoy spending time in, on, or near open water (lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.) these are some great gift ideas. Your loved ones may be surprised to find out how comfortable a life jacket can be nowadays and it may be a gift that could save their lives.

    Inflatable life jackets come in suspender and belt styles. Before they’re inflated you hardly know you have one on. They come with automatic/manual and manual inflation deployment devices. The automatic deployment device inflates when immersed in water or you can always pull a cord to inflate either type of device manually. It can take approximately 5-7 seconds waiting for an automatic inflatable life jacket to inflate or slightly longer if you’re pulling the cord manually. Because of that timeframe, inflatable life jackets are only recommended for those who can swim well enough to tread water while waiting for it to inflate. Inflatable life jackets are also only U.S. Coast Guard approved for those who are age 16 and over.

    For those who already have an inflatable life jacket, consider giving them a replacement CO2 cartridge. CO2 cartridges may have expiration dates so they may need to be replaced occasionally. Plus, they have to be replaced every time an inflatable life jacket is deployed. Having extra CO2 cartridges could increase the chances that a user might test how long it takes to inflate their life jacket in the water. It’s always a good idea to test an inflatable life jacket in the water where you can touch the bottom so you know how it works. Inflatable life jackets require some regular maintenance and information about that and more are in a 9-minute video called, “Inflatable Life Jackets: Everything You Need to Know.”

    Non-inflatable life jackets or inherently buoyant style are very durable and they come in a variety of styles, materials, and sizes. Some are designed to float unconscious wearers in a face-up position and those are great in open, rough, or remote waters where rescue may be delayed.

    A less cumbersome inherently buoyant life jacket is the style with narrow straps over the shoulders and large arm holes designed for ease of arm movement. These are best for those who enjoy paddling or any on-water activity where you need to move your arms. Fishing style life jackets usually have mesh material over the shoulders and large pockets on front for storing things.

    For those who enjoy towed sports (i.e. tubing, skiing, and wakeboarding) or for those operating a personal watercraft, a neoprene life jacket is the most popular of the inherently-buoyant life jackets. These are capable of withstanding high-impact activities and they come in a variety of stylish colors.

    Any of these styles of life jackets or CO2 cartridges for inflatable life jackets could make great gifts for your loved ones. It always amazes me that so many people spend a great deal of money to buy a boat, fishing or hunting gear, but then buy cheap life jackets that they and nobody else will wear. Show your loved ones how much you care about them and buy them a life jacket that properly fits them and whatever type of open-water activity they enjoy and ask them to wear it because you love them. You could be giving them a gift that saves their life someday.



    Date Taken: 01.22.2021
    Date Posted: 01.22.2021 16:59
    Story ID: 387427
    Location: US

    Web Views: 36
    Downloads: 0