Personal Floatation Devices

Type I
  • 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.
Type II
  • 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 fast rescue.
Type III
  • 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.
Type IV
  • 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.
Type V
  • 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.