Personal Floatation Devices
Offshore Life Jackets: This type of life jacket is best for open and
rough waters and when a fast rescue is not likely, therefore, it is mainly
used during emergencies. Offshore lifejackets, providing 22 pounds of buoyancy,
are designed to turn an unconscious person face-up.
Near-shore Life Jackets: Designed for calm inland water, near-shore
lifejackets are less bulky than a Type I PFD. Near-shore life jackets come in
different sizes for adults and children. These PFDs, which usually turn an
unconscious person face-up, are suitable for times when there is a chance of
Flotation Aid: These jackets are most popular among paddlers, as they
are considered the most comfortable of PFDs. They are suitable for calm water and
fast rescues because they will not turn an unconscious person face-up.
Throwable Devices: These PFDs, which are designed to be thrown to a person
in the water, include boat cushions, ring buoys and horseshoe buoys. Throwable
devices are made to be a backup to a PFD.
Special Use Device: Since these devices are used for a variety of activities,
they come in a range of styles such as work vests, deck suits and hybrids.
All special use devices must be worn on deck whenever the boat is underway in
order to meet Coast Guard requirements.