Going on outings with your family and friends is a fun way to bond and enjoy the scenarios. Typically boat rides are even more adventurous if you plan to explore the waterways and enjoy the waves.
No matter where you are and how you are commuting, accidents can happen at any time and we have no control over it except to be precautious. Similarly in boat rides, mishaps can occur and you might find yourself seeking assistance to save your life.
In most cases, people tend to look for PFDs to keep afloat. Where do you find them? Also, you might want to know, what is the best place to put PFDs while you are out on your boat?
We are talking about safety gear, so it is a must that you have it within your reach in case of accidents. A boat can be spacious and you don’t want to tug the PFDs on tight spaces or sealed places. It is best if you put the personal floating device on the top deck of the boat. Doing so will keep it within reach and be accessible to the crowd.
It is preferred that you always wear a floating device such as a life jacket when you are riding on the waves. You don’t know when disaster will hit you. Better safe than sorry.
Visible Place and No Obstruction
Keeping PFDs in the most visible place is the way to go on a boat trip. Like mentioned, the top deck is the ideal place, right close to the passengers. Don’t let the PFDs get stacked with other objects. Obstructing the safety gears are highly discouraged. They should be kept in the open for easy access. In case of an emergency, these small details might save your life. Keep it close to you and best if you carry the flotation device on your body.
What are PFDs ?
So what is a PFD? It is a personal flotation device, used as safety equipment to keep people floating on water. The way it is built, it is destined to keep the wearer’s top as in the head over the water and resist drowning.
There are many available sizes of PFDs and you can purchase them according to your weight. There are different kinds of PFDs as well. For water sports, to regular use, you will get a range of items. Thermal protection devices are also available if you plan to ride on chilly waters.
Is PFD and Life Jacket the Same?
The ultimate purpose of these two items is to keep human beings afloat and save them from drowning. People usually tag these two items as the same if they are the same. It is in a way, but there are differences such as the Life jacket is made with more buoyancy on the front, it’s heavier. The PFD buoyancy objects are set on the back making it easily manoeuvrable and is lighter.
PFDs come in a wide array of colours that have reflective materials. You should always go for vivid colours so that people can trace you visually. On the other hand, lifejackets have only three shades of orange, red or yellow. There is a whistle to alert the rescuers in emergencies.
Life jackets are made to save you in dire situations. You might not be a good swimmer, but lifejackets are designed to keep you floating no matter what. PFDs are more of a device for seasoned sports enthusiasts. They are widely used by people when they are water skiing, parasailing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, canoeing and such activities.
Some Basic Requirements with PFDs
The first rule before you hop on board. There should be enough PFDs for everyone. One for each person. No sharing in this case. The user must know how it works. This should be taken care of before entering the boat.
Children below 13 years should always wear the PFDs no matter what. For children and adults, it is recommended to fit PFDs according to their body weight and size. If you are taking your pet dog along with you, you must have a flotation device for the canines.
Check for the PFD condition. If it is in a weary state, you should not carry one such PFD. Even if you are physically not on the board but being towed on a ski board or rafts, it is advised to put on PFD in such circumstances. Don’t neglect this process.
There are inflatable PFDs, these are not approved during water sports like water skiing and all. Children under 16 years are not approved for inflatable PFD as well.
Care for the PFDs
It is advised to keep the personal flotation devices in good condition. You can do it by taking good care and maintaining them. For cleaning, use mild soap and water that is not too cold or hot. Rinse the soapy fluid thoroughly with a towel. Don’t dare to dry clean, never use chemical products. To dry the soaked parts, you can air dry them but no direct heat source should hit the PFDs.
Choosing the Correct PFD
Look for labels that state the PFD is approved by the coast guard authority. Go for PFDs that suit your activity. As stated before there are different kinds of items for varying activities. Make sure the PFD is the right pick according to your weight and size, otherwise it won’t be effective when put to a real-life situation.
The PFD should be a snug fit and not tight. You should be able to breathe and move freely wearing one. Lastly, always pick flotation devices that are bright in colour, so that people can spot you in critical places.
We recommend you wear the personal flotation device all time. If you are on stable water bodies you can opt to keep off the PFD but make sure the safety gears are always within the reach.
As for kids, it is advised that you keep the PFD on them for as long as they are in close range of water bodies. Read this article and you will know the ideal place to put PFDs while you are riding a boat. In addition, you will acquire knowledge on what a PFD is and how it works.