Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) Mandan ND

Lifesavers are not just the fruity candy with the hole in the middle. They save lives. Need to learn about personal flotation devices? Read on.

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Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

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Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)

Keeping your head above water

You might have been told “the best life jacket is the one you wear,” but not all life jackets are created equal. The kind you want for paddling a canoe down a lazy river isn't the one that will save you when capsized at sea. Taking the time to purchase the right kind and right fit can be a life-saver - literally.

The U.S. Coast Guard requires all recreational boats to carry one wearable PFD for each person aboard. Boats over 16 feet long (except canoes and kayaks) must also have at least one throwable PFD aboard as well. The type of PFD required varies from state to state, so make sure you consult the local Coast Guard as well as the list below will help you find the best life jacket - or jackets - for your vacation.

Types of PFDs

Before you go shopping for a life jacket, make a list of the activities you want to do. If you've got water skiing, fishing and paddling on the agenda, you might need to buy more than one life jacket. Be sure to consider water conditions as well. Fishing on open waters requires one kind of life jacket, while angling in small rivers needs another.

No matter what type of PFD you buy, make sure it's Coast Guard-approved, in good condition (if you're buying second-hand) and the right size for the wearer. Although not mandatory, it's a good idea to look for a life jacket that's colorful and has reflective tape so you can be spotted - and rescued - quickly.

With your list of activities and water conditions in hand, consider the following:

  • Type I: These bulky jackets are the kind found on ships. Designed for emergencies, these life jackets are too heavy to be worn unless you're in the water. These heavy-duty PFDs keep a victim face-up if unconscious in rough water or thrown overboard in remote locations where rescue could be delayed.
  • Type II: This lighter version is for rivers and lakes with calm conditions where you're likely to be rescued quickly. D...

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