Personal Flotation Devices
PFD’s Save Lives!
A Personal Flotation Device (PFD), also known as a lifejacket or buoyancy vest, will keep the user afloat in the water, greatly increasing their likelihood of survival.
Even competent swimmers require PFDs as they may need to spend a long time in the water awaiting rescue, have to swim a long distance to shore, or they may be injured or unconscious.
The six categories of PFDs are classified by their intended use and buoyancy levels:
- Level 275 – intended for offshore use and by people carrying significant weight.
- Level 150 – intended for offshore use and rough weather where a high standard of performance is required.
- Level 100 – intended for use in sheltered water.
- Level 50 – intended for use by competent swimmers close to shore or means of rescue.
- The other PFDs are designed either for special purpose or are SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) PFDs intended for use on sea going ships.
PFDs should be chosen to suit the activity or conditions it will be worn in. They should be comfortable and fit securely. Always choose the correct size for children, not one they will ‘grow into’.