Life Saver

Lifejacket safety on sailWhether you are a sailor, jetskier, kayaker or motorboater the MCA has a mission to get more of you to wear a lifejacket.

When you’re enjoying your day out afloat, you don’t intend to end up in the water, but accidents can and do happen. Common sense and good seamanship are a big help, but nothing can replace the safety that a lifejacket offers. Last year 11 boaters lost their lives. Had they been wearing lifejackets their story could have been different.

The MCA has always encouraged the wearing of lifejackets, but now it’s ramping up the message in collaboration with the Royal Yachting Association and the RNLI. A stage show at the Southampton Boat Show helped to take the message direct to the people who could benefit the most and a new sea safety advert which will be launched next year will remind boaters about why they should wear lifejackets.

So, why wear a lifejacket?
• It keeps your airways above water
• It supports your body weight
• You’ll be more visible to rescuers
• Lifejackets save lives

Wearing a lifejacketTom Smith, a lifelong fisherman tells his story, ‘I was out creeling with my basket over the side of my fishing boat when the basket caught the water and dragged the boat down. It happened in seconds, If the jacket had been stored on the boat there is no way I’d have had time to grab it. Within moments I was in the water and the life jacket self inflated. I can’t swim but made my way to the shore with help from an onshore wind. I am 100 per cent certain that my lifejacket saved my life.’

‘We want as many people as possible to wear a lifejacket when afloat,’ says MCA Chief Executive Peter Cardy. `Lifejackets really are life savers.’

Additional Lifesavers
These extras to your lifejacket can help you survive.
• Crotch straps – to stop the jacket lifting over your head into the water.
• A spray hood – keeps water away from your mouth.
• Whistle – helps to attract attention.
• Reflective tape – makes it easier to be found in the dark.

response from Bob Emanuel:-

My thoughts re  Life jackets and Crutch or Thigh  straps, which members might like to know about.

It is only relatively recently (in the last year or so) that some brands of life jackets are being sold with crutch straps.

The RYA safety course that I attended some time ago drove home to me that crutch  straps are an integral part of the life jacket …. I was given a life jacket to use, without straps and discovered that whilst in the water, my hands had to be used all the time, to stop the jacket “riding up” and strangling me: trying to come up over my head, trying to force my head under water i.e.trying to drown me.

Changing to a jacket with straps stopped this, freeing up my hands and thus allowing me to be able to help buddies etc.

I do not regard crutch straps as an extra (although manufacturers do, in order to make more money !!!

I realised that my own jackets did not have straps so I went and bought some immediately !!!! Together with anti-spray hoods.

(I also had 2 unused jackets for sale (NO straps !!!) So I bought straps for them before selling because I thought it would be criminal to sell them without).

Bob.

Portsmouth Tides