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There’s a wide variety of life jackets on the market with options to fit every age, size, and water-bound recreational activity. You can find designs specifically tailored for recreational boating and water sports like skiing and riding on personal watercrafts, as well as styles for hunting, fishing, paddle sports (such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding), and offshore boating and racing.
They come in a variety of configurations and are available in five types (ranging from Type I to Type V), with each being further categorized by design:
When selecting a life jacket, make sure it has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, is the right size, and suits the activity you’re doing. For help choosing the right type of jacket, the U.S. Coast Guard put together a helpful manual.
Life jacket laws vary from state to state. In states where no children’s life jacket law is in place, a U.S. Coast Guard interim rule requires that children under 13 wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on a boat.
Below are some other tips to keep in mind, depending on who will be using the life jacket:
When it’s time to choose a life jacket for yourself or a loved one, the U.S. Coast Guard recommends the following tips:
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, standard foam-filled life jackets should be tested each year for buoyancy and wear and tear. If you have an inflatable life jacket, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you follow their recommended maintenance procedures.
Strictly speaking, there aren’t precise expiration dates for life jackets. However, your jacket will need to be maintained and in proper working order for it to be considered usable. Also keep in mind that if you have an inflatable life jacket, components like the CO2 cylinder will expire, so make sure you stay up to date on the manufacturer’s maintenance requirements.
First and foremost, it’s always better to wear a life jacket than to not wear one. Drowning while wearing a life jacket is rare, but there are some situations where the risk could be higher:
With boat insurance from Erie Insurance, you gain added protection for your next voyage, just in case. Since coverage types can vary greatly based on a number of factors, talk to your local ERIE agent. They can help you figure out exactly what you need and what type of policy is best for you before you set sail.
Warm weather is finally here! With boating season upon us, now is a great time to brush up on essential boating safety tips.
As you start to get your boat ready for fun and relaxing days out on the water, make sure that one life-saving item is at the top of your priority list: life jackets.
Whether you’re captaining a kayak or a fishing boat, you are required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person riding in your recreational vessel. And for good reason. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2019, 86 percent of individuals who drowned during a fatal recreational boating accident were not wearing a life jacket.
While each state may have different regulations for when and where to wear a life jacket, your safest choice is to don one at all times when you’re on the water.
While all life jackets are part of the family of personal flotation devices (or PFDs, if you’re into acronyms), they are not all created equal. Here, we break down what you need to know to keep you and your passengers properly outfitted and safe this season.
Haven’t heard of us? Erie Insurance started with humble beginnings in 1925 with a mission to emphasize customer service above all else. Though we’ve grown to reach the Fortune 500 list, we still haven’t lost the human touch.
Contact Kartsonas Agency, Inc. today to experience the ERIE difference for yourself.