life jackets

BobP

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In my earlier post above I referred to basically jumping in to a swimming pool wearing a life jacket - A Crewsaver 150N as it happens without the crotch straps. I did the water safety course several times when in the EA, and also put the l/j to practical use on a couple of occasions when taking a tumble while electric fishing. On no occasion did the l/j rise up over my head.

It needs to be correctly worn with the waist belt adjusted so that two fingers together can pass between the belt and the body. That done the l/j does what it says on the tin which is to turn the wearer so that they are on their back with head clear of the water and support their body weight. Seeing as most people's chest measurements are, or were, bigger than their waist measurements the l/j should not be able to rise up significantly. However, as people are now getting bigger, ie fatter, and their chest measurement is often smaller than their waist then the larger 165N jacket with crotch straps is the better bet. Farmoor changed their l/js for that reason as I was told by the ranger staff.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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They look very good indeed.
But, whenever you wear them, do NOT forget to use the crotch strap: that stops the inflated jacket from rising up over your head.

Indeed. A friend took his to a "Get your lifejacket serviced for free" session at an RNLI open day. When he handed it to the guy doing the servicing, yer man asked my friend where the crotch straps were. He replied he didn't have any. The guy then went to great lengths to explain why the ones we use are next to useless, and potentially dangerous, if you don't have fitted crotch straps and use them.

And yet probably more than 50% of the ones you see folk using do not have crotch straps deployed.

Col
 

eddleston123

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Has there been many incidents of life jackets that have simply failed to activate in the water for whatever reason?

That has always been one of my fears (probably totally irrational). Probably the main reason I fish from the bank!



Douglas
 

Sash

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Has there been many incidents of life jackets that have simply failed to activate in the water for whatever reason?

That has always been one of my fears (probably totally irrational). Probably the main reason I fish from the bank!



Douglas
IF you look after them (do an inflation check at least every winter; replace the canister on time or condition), and get them properly serviced (Hammar-type, in particular), its very, very unusual.

But if you use them in saltwater and don't clean them, or just chuck them in the back of the car in the evening, and don't get them serviced (typically every ?3 years for an auto-inflater), then you are asking for it.

But properly-looked after life jeackets are, IMO, remarkably reliable: that should not be a reason for you not to use one. Again, IMHO
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Has there been many incidents of life jackets that have simply failed to activate in the water for whatever reason?

That has always been one of my fears (probably totally irrational). Probably the main reason I fish from the bank!



Douglas

I used to have an Englands all in one type waistcoat and life-vest. The type that relied on getting it wet to fire it. It went off while sitting in a boat on a dry, sunny day!

That was the first time it fired.

Some time later, I was wading in the Tay at Kenmore, and I lost my footing among the boulders in the Lady's Pool and fell in! I almost lost my rod, as I dropped it in the process and it started to float off downstream. I went on my back and hooked the rod with my foot - managed to retrieve it. It wasn't deep water - maybe 2 foot - and I just stood up. But I was drenched. I got myself out and onto the bank and clambered up it. It was at this point that it occurred to me that the life jacket had not fired. "Oh well", I thought, "At least I have saved myself the cost of recharg....." PSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!!! That was when it went off.


Quite apart from that, the (early model) Englands was pretty much functionally useless as a waistcoat. The zips were the worst bit. They didn't work in a horizontal position... which is how the ones on the pockets were orientated! I binned it and bought a decent waistcoat and a separate pressure-type Crewsaver life jacket... with crotch straps! Of course now it is a PITA trying to wear a life jacket over a waistcoat...

Col
 

eddleston123

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If I was fishing from a boat, what would you say the disadvantages of a buoyancy aid would be as opposed to a life jacket.

At least with a buoyancy aid you are not relying on any type of activation.



Douglas
 

jbe3

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I used a manual type waistcoat which I bought in Ireland for over 20 years. The RNLI inspection at GAC informed me that it was a buoyancy aid not a lifejacket and that the gas bottle was well out of date. He did add it might work but was not designed to keep you afloat for a long time. My family bought me the new Englands waistcoat, which is a lifejacket, very comfortable with 2 good deep pockets at the front. However it went off when I was sitting in the boat on a dry sunny day on the Lake of Menteith, I've no idea why. Considering BobP's important point about the life jacket rising up it would not have come off had I been in the water as it was a very snug fit. It was a bind having to replace the gas but I've no doubt it would have worked. I also have automatic 'industrial type' (they were worn by the guys building the Queensferry Crossing) lifejackets with crotch straps which I use on Loch Lomond as often out alone and not sure how long before help might arrive.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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However it went off when I was sitting in the boat on a dry sunny day on the Lake of Menteith, I've no idea why.

That's exactly what happened to me on Clubbiedean - see post #25. I think (not certain) those ones use a firing mechanism consisting of a pellet of sodium bicarbonate or some such. It is holding back the firing pin. When it goes in the water, it dissolves, releasing the firing pin. The problem is that all sorts of dampness that goes hand in hand with fishing over time gradually erodes the pellet. Then one day without warning the firing pin gets through it and punctures the seal on the cylinder.

The pressure-activated ones go off at a certain depth below the surface - 10 cm is it? - so in theory should not go off the same as the pellet ones do.

Col
 

jbe3

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It gave me quite a fright when it went off. My boat partner nearly fell in laughing. Surprising how many people don't wear one. A Tay ghillie said to me 'do you know when your going to drown' mind I never saw him wear one.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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It gave me quite a fright when it went off. My boat partner nearly fell in laughing. Surprising how many people don't wear one. A Tay ghillie said to me 'do you know when your going to drown' mind I never saw him wear one.

Ha-ha - us as well. I thought I was having a heart attack. Jimmy thought I'd been shot. I was wearing a turquoise top and after the thing went off, I looked like a line-backer for the Miami Dolphins...



The pressure was surprisingly high. It jammed the tube with the release valve inside the waistcoat, so I couldn't get to it and we couldn't get it deflated. Took an age of wrestling with it to get it down. What a palaver!

But I can see why you are warned never to wear anything over the top of one. If it goes off while you are wearing a coat, it is either going to rip the coat apart or burst your ribs!

Col
 
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ed_t

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I JUST BOUGHT 2 OF THESE A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE BUT AS YOU SAYWHATS A LIFE WORTH,
ARE THEY FIT FOR PURPOSE ?
Personally i'd say no, unless the gas bags inside are high visibility. The reason pink, orange and yellow high viz is used is so you are visible on the water. Stuff approved for maritime use will also have retro-reflective material so search lights will pick you up at night or low light.

Crew on one of the ships i look after was involved in a pointless man overboard search in Biscay where a lad had been blasted overboard another ship by smoking in the paint store doorway. Pointless search because he was wearing plain overalls. 1 in a million to spot neutral colours in waves in daytime.

The "cheap knock off" one referred to above mentioned Solas reflective tape. SOLAS is the international maritime organisation Safety Of Life At Sea regulations. Must be tested like heck to achieve certification. At least a search helicopter or boat search light would find you.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Personally i'd say no, unless the gas bags inside are high visibility

Well, the thing with all these combined life-jacket and waistcoat combos is that the air bladder is contained within the waistcoat, when it inflates. See above unscheduled demonstration of an Englands model. The bladder was Hi-Viz yellow, but it never got shown.

I guess the thinking would be that if you fall overboard on a reservoir or loch or lake, or fall into a river, being visible from a distance at night is less important than simply staying afloat?
 

anzac

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I guess the thinking would be that if you fall overboard on a reservoir or loch or lake, or fall into a river, being visible from a distance at night is less important than simply staying afloat?
Night fishing poses greater risks. Visibility is one in particular.

The waters we fish are cold. Hypothermia will kill you at a slower rate than drowning, but it will kill you. That makes being rescued in a timely manner all the more important, and the first step to being rescued is being seen. Orange vest visibility is compromised at night. Reflective tape has limited use since it needs to reflect light from another source. The point here is that those of us who frequently fish at night in particular would be well served to have an aircrew survival strobe on our person as a precaution.
 

ed_t

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Well, the thing with all these combined life-jacket and waistcoat combos is that the air bladder is contained within the waistcoat, when it inflates. See above unscheduled demonstration of an Englands model. The bladder was Hi-Viz yellow, but it never got shown.

I guess the thinking would be that if you fall overboard on a reservoir or loch or lake, or fall into a river, being visible from a distance at night is less important than simply staying afloat?
A better way of thinking would be you don't wear your waders under your long-johns. Layer up properly. Floaty outside waterproofs outside thermals.

The cold will kill most before drowning, but that's another matter.

Being visible to rescuers is numero uno on survival.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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A better way of thinking would be you don't wear your waders under your long-johns. Layer up properly. Floaty outside waterproofs outside thermals.

The cold will kill most before drowning, but that's another matter.

Being visible to rescuers is numero uno on survival.

My point is that a lot of what they make as life jackets have zero extra visibility.
 

anzac

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My point is that a lot of what they make as life jackets have zero extra visibility.
Aye. That makes one of these even more important. LELAND Personal Strobe Light | West Marine

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ed_t

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My point is that a lot of what they make as life jackets have zero extra visibility.
Tactical carp lifejackets to keep you safe in your bivvy?

Being facetious but... cammo?

You are floating about in 14' or more of boat, will a bit of pink scare off the fish? Dirty gert klink and dink.
 

doobrysnatcher

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Tactical carp lifejackets to keep you safe in your bivvy?

Being facetious but... cammo?

You are floating about in 14' or more of boat, will a bit of pink scare off the fish? Dirty gert klink and dink.
why i choose the black was weighing up the odds of falling in and didnt wantto scare the little fish
i put there well being before mine
 

doobrysnatcher

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They will feed better without nowing that.
regardless of the colour of outer layer surely the governing bodies that set the spec have to be adhered to to get the stamp of approval ?why are there different standards to a person drowning ?
eg with whistle as oppose d no whistle , auto inflate /manual ,high viz ,etc etc
the standard ssould be set fairly high for safety regarding fishing full stop .be it boat or shore rant rant
i know nothing of boating but i know its mandotory to have a life jacket here ,what bugs me was there was no set guidelines set down as to what a life jacket was , and i was left to my own devices on choice,i have a boyancy aid which doesent blow up out of the blue or requires the inflating with my mouth while im drowning ,why not redesign the jacket with padded foam to turn one upright on entering the water , i dont want to drown thinking WHY didnt service it ,WHY didnt it inflate , where is the lever to inflate this ,i gasping for air i need to blow this up is last on my mind ,
if i fall in i just want the assurance that no mattter what ill be turned on my back with my head above water even if im unconscious, is this to much to ask for ?
 
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