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We were working on the PFD article below when the story broke regarding former NFL Player Rob Konrad’s survival after falling off his boat while fishing on the FL coast. Search Rob Konrad to read the full story.

The number one item Safety Council literature mentions is lifejackets and their logos promote wearing a PFD (personal flotation device).

We all know boaters who just won’t wear them, and they often land in the water. An important fact to be noted is: PFDs are not easy to put on in the water. They are even difficult to fasten if just slipped on. The problem is, in the water the jacket is floating above your shoulders and you have to pull it down against the pull of the floatation material. This does not happen easily; just try to visualize it.

People have been rescued clutching a PFD and they told of how tiring it was trying to put the jacket on. Many become so exhausted from attempting to get a jacket on they barely had enough strength to keep themselves afloat. Just trying to snap a fastener or pull up a zipper is very difficult.

If you have doubts, have someone in the water with his or her lifejacket on. Have a ladder ready over the side or aft then go in the water with your jacket and try to put it on. These activities will convert many who say there is no need to put the jacket on. After a few attempts, you will better understand one of the Safety Council’s logos, “It won’t Work If You Don’t Wear It.”

Having a PFD on but not fastened is not quite as difficult to deal with but it’s a lot more work than you might think.

A Type III lifejacket is one of the more comfortable styles but it must be fastened to be of any assistance when you’re in the water. Many of the Type III jackets are very flexible which makes them more comfortable when wearing them. It also makes them difficult to use as a float if you’re not wearing it and land in the water. If it’s just slipped on, a Type III jacket will hold you face down with your arms extended.

The practice of putting a PFD on in the water with ready assistance is something every boater should experience. Each family member or friend that goes on your boat should also do the drill.
If you are aboard a vessel that is taking on water, there may be time to get lifejackets on all those aboard. You may not have time to determine where the water is coming from and stop it or to bail after getting the jackets out and helping everyone put them on. If you have your PFD on and fastened when you enter the water you will have a much better chance of surviving while awaiting rescue.

Each of us knows the value of our lives but we need to dispel the belief many have that they can just swim to shore. Those who do believe that may be sadly mistaken

Take the challenge if you think you don’t need to wear a lifejacket. Try to put one on in the water where you will need it. Better yet, why not just wear one then you won’t have to worry about being able to get it on if you land in the water. Try one of the new inflatables; many are so comfortable you don’t even know you have them on.

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One Response to WEAR YOUR PFD

  1. he should wear a inflatable pfd but he also had the boat in gear when the fish came on he should have taken the boat out of gear it was reported wrong that the boat was on auto pilot

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