life jackets

BobP

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That is what Crewsavers are designed to do. Once this pandemic is over and we can do such things go to a swimming pool, wear a Crewsaver and flop into the pool as if unconscious. The l/j will inflate, and be aware that it will go off with a lot of noise, and you will turn over and just float on your back. That is one of the exercises the Fire & Rescue people will do.
 

BobP

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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

The very first l/j's we got back in 1980 took a few seconds to go "pop". I was doing some work on a gravel pit with two colleagues setting some fyke nets. We dropped one guy off on a gravel bar to anchor one end while two of us reversed out to extend the leader and drop the net into the deeper water. I was driving the boat while my colleague was attending to the net. I was looking where we were going ie backwards and he failed to notice a low branch coming . It knocked him off-balance & he went down hard on the gunwale of the boat which was only a little 10' plastic thing. The sudden tilting of the boat sent me backwards over the side.

I remember seeing the green water as I sank & was wondering when this little pill in the l/j was going to melt and off she went. I surfaced to see my colleague a few feet away having also gone over the side in the melee. The third chap on the gravel bar stood there looking terrified as he had no way back to shore.

Instead of l/j's failing to go off, we have had many incidences of them going off unintentionally. I had one go off in a boat on Chew on a very wet day, and the automatic ones were a right pain when doing fish population surveys while wading. If we were waist deep and leant forward to net a fish off the thing would go which brought the day's work to an abrupt end because we were not permitted to re-arm the thing in the field. Health & Safety is a wonderful thing. It took us a year to persuade our H & S people to let us have non-automatic l/j's for wading work. This meant we all had two - one for boat work and one for wading.

I would not suggest manual l/j's for anglers who wade because most anglers fish alone or separated from others and it relies upon them to have sufficient presence of mind to pull that toggle at a moment of very high stress and panic.

If an l/j is used frequently I would recommend a check every three months to make use there are no loose stitching etc and a full service every year at least. It is not hard to do. Just pull the toggle and see that the l/j inflates fully. Leave it inflated overnight to make sure it does not deflate. If all is well, deflate and replace the gas bottle & arming kit. Re-pack carefully and don't forget to date the servicing tag.
 

Sash

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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 ?
You have bought two Crewsaver inflatables: they will be just FINE. It is a totally reputable company that knows what it is doing and making: as an earlier post said: "if its good enough for the RNLI...."

When/if the vest goes off, the inflatable bladder inside IS bright yellow, with several bits of refelctive tape. Easy to see, whistle to attract attention etc. It's only the cover that is black.

You can, clearly, further pimp your lifejacket up if you wish! I use mine at sea, in a RIB, so have strobe lights in all of them (ACR Fireflies; very slim). And splash hoods. But, if you are on a lough, or fishing a river, this is probably overkill: its the inflation, turn face up, and crotch strap to prevent the jacket riding up that are the absolute keys for your requirements IMO.
 

Sash

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The very first l/j's we got back in 1980 took a few seconds to go "pop". I was doing some work on a gravel pit with two colleagues setting some fyke nets. We dropped one guy off on a gravel bar to anchor one end while two of us reversed out to extend the leader and drop the net into the deeper water. I was driving the boat while my colleague was attending to the net. I was looking where we were going ie backwards and he failed to notice a low branch coming . It knocked him off-balance & he went down hard on the gunwale of the boat which was only a little 10' plastic thing. The sudden tilting of the boat sent me backwards over the side.

I remember seeing the green water as I sank & was wondering when this little pill in the l/j was going to melt and off she went. I surfaced to see my colleague a few feet away having also gone over the side in the melee. The third chap on the gravel bar stood there looking terrified as he had no way back to shore.

Instead of l/j's failing to go off, we have had many incidences of them going off unintentionally. I had one go off in a boat on Chew on a very wet day, and the automatic ones were a right pain when doing fish population surveys while wading. If we were waist deep and leant forward to net a fish off the thing would go which brought the day's work to an abrupt end because we were not permitted to re-arm the thing in the field. Health & Safety is a wonderful thing. It took us a year to persuade our H & S people to let us have non-automatic l/j's for wading work. This meant we all had two - one for boat work and one for wading.

I would not suggest manual l/j's for anglers who wade because most anglers fish alone or separated from others and it relies upon them to have sufficient presence of mind to pull that toggle at a moment of very high stress and panic.

If an l/j is used frequently I would recommend a check every three months to make use there are no loose stitching etc and a full service every year at least. It is not hard to do. Just pull the toggle and see that the l/j inflates fully. Leave it inflated overnight to make sure it does not deflate. If all is well, deflate and replace the gas bottle & arming kit. Re-pack carefully and don't forget to date the servicing tag.
Important to reiterate that there are TWO very different auto-inflate mechanisms:

- the simple water- (and moisture-) sensitive cartridge. Cheap, easy to replace, and works. But FAR most likely to go off when least wanted, like your very good examples. Also throwing your life jacket in the back of the car after a really wet day, dumping your waders and wading jacket on top, to dry out when you get home. The drive home may well have a bit of ashock as the LJ auto-inflates from all that moisture.

- Hammar mechanisms: typically £25+ more expensive, and almost impossible to service yourself. But incredibly low risk of failure: they only go off when the water pressure is above about a metre. So they dont go off if you are spalshed by a wave, heavy rain, wet waders in the car, or spray coming over the bow of the boat. These are what I use, and they have served us well in horrid conditions.

Clearly, both have a back-up manual toggle as well.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Another safety device - some of the Loch Lomond boys have fitted signal lamps in their boats...



Col
 

ed_t

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You have bought two Crewsaver inflatables: they will be just FINE. It is a totally reputable company that knows what it is doing and making: as an earlier post said: "if its good enough for the RNLI...."

When/if the vest goes off, the inflatable bladder inside IS bright yellow, with several bits of refelctive tape. Easy to see, whistle to attract attention etc. It's only the cover that is black.

You can, clearly, further pimp your lifejacket up if you wish! I use mine at sea, in a RIB, so have strobe lights in all of them (ACR Fireflies; very slim). And splash hoods. But, if you are on a lough, or fishing a river, this is probably overkill: its the inflation, turn face up, and crotch strap to prevent the jacket riding up that are the absolute keys for your requirements IMO.
I was contemplating getting more into the bass wading this summer so for me the lifejacket is a must. The strobe is sensible. Did you ever look at an EPIRB? Was contemplating them a while ago.
 

gordond

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I have spent a lot of time over the last 50 years in small boats, fishing, sailing or as a judge and umpire for sailing. I assume that I will fall in sooner or later, and have done so on several occasions.
My opinion now is that the main danger comes not from falling out of the boat but in being unable to get back in. That is why having a rope with a large loop tied to a thwart to use a s a step is so important, even when you are fishing with someone else.
I am often alone in a boat. I have realised over the years that it is almost impossible to climb back on board when wearing a fully inflated life jacket. The inflated bags get in the way. That is why, on small boats especially, I now were a dinghy sailing buoyancy aid. The foam alos keeps me warm!
When I am on a fully crewed yacht or motor boat I will wear an inflatable life jacket as it is convenient. I will also wear an inflatable lifejacket if local rules oblige me to - but I would usuall wear my buoyancy aid as well.
I also have an innate suspicion of relying on a mechanical and pneumatic apparatus. There is no way of knowing if your inflatable life jacket will inflate except by putting it in the water. When the RNLI do tests the failure rate is alarming.
Personally I would not be happy using an automatically inflatable lifejacket when wading. Once again I prefer a foam buoyancy aid which will always provide buoyancy, instead of an inflatable bladder that may go off when not needed and may not go off when needed!
 

anzac

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I was contemplating getting more into the bass wading this summer so for me the lifejacket is a must. The strobe is sensible. Did you ever look at an EPIRB? Was contemplating them a while ago.
I know a bloke who does a lot of solo backcountry bushwalking who carries a EPIRB.
 

ed_t

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I know a bloke who does a lot of solo backcountry bushwalking who carries a EPIRB.
Bloke i used to work with was into extreme mountain biking. He woke up in hospital after a heavy crash KOd him and activated rescue. He was found and hellied out of the french alps without knowing owt about it.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Aye, it's all a far cry from wee laddies in wellies, with scabby knees, dangling a worm on a hook in the local burn... so it is.... :unsure:
 
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speytime

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Last winter when I was lifting the drogue from the water while feeling a bit chilled it crossed my mind that if I fell in the chances of getting out are pretty slim even with a life jacket.
I've fallen into ice cold water and the sudden immersion in freezing water robs you of any strength and completely takes your breath away to the point of gasping, if your head is under the water you'll gasp just the same and possibly drown, then the chances of having the strength to climb back into a boat are slim to nil.

I thought/think a pair of waders + life jacket would give you a much better chance in icey water, I think they'd afford you some valuable time to rescue yourself more effectively.

That's quite a turn around in my view, the last time I was in Orkney I cut the feet out of a pair of wychwood all seasons to go in the boat with, I didn't want dragged down with them if I fell in 😂.


Al
 

anzac

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Last winter when I was lifting the drogue from the water while feeling a bit chilled it crossed my mind that if I fell in the chances of getting out are pretty slim even with a life jacket.
I've fallen into ice cold water and the sudden immersion in freezing water robs you of any strength and completely takes your breath away to the point of gasping, if your head is under the water you'll gasp just the same and possibly drown, then the chances of having the strength to climb back into a boat are slim to nil.
I read this and remembered an advert I got from GAC. Fladen Black/Yellow Rescue System Flotation Suit – Glasgow Angling Centre (fishingmegastore.com)
 

bennysbuddy

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running bear

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- Hammar mechanisms: typically £25+ more expensive, and almost impossible to service yourself. But incredibly low risk of failure: they only go off when the water pressure is above about a metre. So they dont go off if you are spalshed by a wave, heavy rain, wet waders in the car, or spray coming over the bow of the boat. These are what I use, and they have served us well in horrid conditions.
Query in the hammar service, I've serviced one myself a number of time, but now cautious I'm missing something.

I check the seal is intact and bladder intact by manually inflating using a pump (and not breath) leave it over night and if still inflated, I then deflate and repack.
 
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