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Thread: Flotation devices rant

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    Default Flotation devices rant

    Why is it that in too many of the posts lately people have been shown fishing and crabbing without any sight of PFDs? Whenever I go on the water the number 1 rule is - no PFD on you, no "on deck" for you! Especially seeing someone leaning over the side to pull a pot in without a vest on is disturbing to me. We have sooooo many great people on this site and they would be sorely missed if something happened to them that could be prevented! Not to mention how many people new to the water get the wrong idea of boating safety from watching "boating veterans" using unsafe practices?


    This is JMO and take it for just that.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I have to admit that I am one of those people that leaves their PFD in the storage locker. To tell you the truth I don't even wear it when I'm rowing my cat down the Kenai. But, I plan to change that this year when I buy one of those inflatable jobs. I find most vests uncomfortable and get in the way especially when rowing so I'm hoping the inflatable will be the way to go.

  3. #3

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    I wear the inflatable kind. Doesn't get in the way. If it's rainy or cold, I'll wear my float coat for warmth instead. Wearing anything is a personal decision (unless you're under a certain age and on deck), but going from having a nice day to being dead can happen with little or no warning. It bothers me, too, when I see professional fishing programs on TV and no one is wearing a PFD. Sets a bad example for kids who might not know any better.

    Just a note to anyone using an inflatable PFD. If the coast guard counts the number of PFDs on your boat (you have to have one for each person on the boat), the inflatable type does not count as a PFD unless it is being worn at the time.

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    Default usefull info

    Skydiver, thanks for the info on the coastguards view of the inflatable vests. we always have "regular" vests for all on board and I take a couple iflatable ones for when using the raft to go to shore. They are great for rowing.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I wear my PFD 100% of the time while in a skiff on the ocean, often I wear it under my rain coat there. I also wear it 100% of the time while underway guiding. Its probably the #1 reason I switched from vests. I suggest everyone wear their PFD in an open boat on the ocean, while retrieving gear (crab pots, nets etc). I wear them about half the time when rafting especially where there is big water or I can't walk across the river.

    I love life vests they are warm and comfy
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6

    Default Life Jackets

    I spend over 20 years of my life rescuing people from Alaskan waters, the number of dead bodies could of been much lower if a PFD was worn. First off a PFD will not protect you from hypothermia, than can be addressed by not falling in the water. Assuming you fall in you need something to help you survive till your buddies pull you out, that is were a good quality PFD comes into play. Too many people buy the cheapest PFD they can find, just to comply with Coast Guard (CG) regulations, what a shame. If there is one time you do not buy the cheapest quality, but the best you can get, is that time is when you are relying on apiece of equipment to save your life in the worst situations, i.e. PFD, flares, air horns...
    So the secret is not to buy CG approved, but spend the few extra dollars and try to buy a S.O.L.A.S (Safety of Life at Sea) approved PFD or any water equipment. S.O.L.A.S. is the international version of the CG , there requirements are much higher and stricter than the CG and a much better device, period. As an example the CG PFD is build to meet a minimum requirement, say X amount of floatation is needed to keep you afloat in still water, that number is used, but in fast water you sink with the same amount of floatation, what good is it doing you? A S.O.L.A.S. approved PFD will have enough floatation to keep you afloat.

    Todays PFD are very comfortable and there is no excuse not to wear one. Besides, if you are out in the water with your family and you all go in they are going to look to you for help. What good can you do them if you don't wear one? Big macho men drown just as easily as kids.

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    Default Should be state law...

    requiering everyone to wear a SOLAS immersion suit...

  8. #8

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    A few years ago I purchased one of the inflatables that looks just like a regular fishing vest. Plenty of pockets, comfortable to wear, never feels as like a regular floation jacket/vest. One of my best purchases because I actually wear it.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaM5 View Post
    A few years ago I purchased one of the inflatables that looks just like a regular fishing vest. Plenty of pockets, comfortable to wear, never feels as like a regular floation jacket/vest. One of my best purchases because I actually wear it.

    My wife and I use those. We dont even know they are on and love them
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    the problem with inflatebles is that they do nothing to stop sudden coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    What brand is your vest? I need to buy a couple for this season and need something comfy for rowing on the pontoon boats.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm assuming that my recent pictures of crabbing are part of the discussion. I wear a pfd when rafting, kayaking, and when in my packraft, but that's about it. Is that a wise choice? Probably not, to be honest. I grew up commercial fishing in the summers and grew to be very comfortable on a boat. That isn't to say that mistakes can't happen - obviously they can and do with a saddening frequency - but when working on a boat most vests are just too bulky to work. PFDs have come a long ways, though, and there are some that I've got my eye on that might work for working. I might change my ways at some point...

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    BRIAN!!!

    Your honesty does you credit, but shame! lol

    It is an uphill battle to get everyone to wear PFDs. Still the majority got it right! I haven't been perfect either. I did once fall in off Kodiak on a calm day though.......water is very, very cold. Learned my lesson.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    the problem with inflatebles is that they do nothing to stop sudden coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water
    don't they have some that fire when submersed?....
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    the problem with inflatebles is that they do nothing to stop sudden coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water
    So are you saying that you wear a survival suit ALL the time you are on the water??? I infer from your post, no kind of vest will stop the dreaded "coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water". I think most of the people here are talking about auto-inflaitable vests. They are slim and easy to wear but inflate IF you end up in the water so you have chance to get back onboard. If you have any additional info on some other kind of vest that doesn't expose us to the sudden coldwater immersion death, please post any info. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    don't they have some that fire when submersed?....
    Yes, once the sensor goes underwater 4", there are cartridges that inflate the life rings around your neck.

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    i am also one of them guys that have all that are needed but i dont wear mine. for my kids its mandatory for guests i ask if they can swim and if they cant they have to wear one at all times. i have come into some seas that i did put it one but i try and stay out of them situations.

    on the inflatables my buddy has a boat as well as a 5 year old kid and he stated last year he was going to get his kid one of them inflatables cause he sure hated to see his kid all tied up with a flotation vest lookin like the michelin man. i told him i wouldnt trust it on my 5 year old, trusting it operated if he ever went over. would you put your youngster in one of these? if not why would you trust youself on one? they must come up with a backup blowup but that only works if you can swim and can stay calm enough to operate the backup.

  18. #18

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    The only time I take mine off is to take some layers off, or put layers on. I spent the extra money for one that was comfortable for me. As for the cable pull ones, if you are unconscious, how are you going to pull the string? I've also seen guys splash water on the dissolve ones and have them go off. I'll stick with my comfortable one that is guaranteed to make me float whether I'm unconsious or not without having to pull a string. No one gets on my boat without wearing one. They don't want to wear one, they don't go. Simple as that.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default auto inflate vest & CG

    So last year at the sports show I stop at the Coast Gaurd booth and sign up for the boat inspection.. while talking to McKibbin Jackinski from CG, I asked her the very question many have had on whether we can trust these inflatable vests.?
    She told me that she would get back to me with the answer,
    I was treated to some pretty good information..
    When the Coast gaurd approves a device, it must perform 100% of the time to retain that approval.
    Many thousands of tests done on each CG approved vest with not one single failure. One failure would mean the Coast Gaurd will not put there approval on the device.
    She said ,, can you imagine the law suit you would have not only against the Manufacture of the product, but the Coast Guard also..
    They cannot absorb, or would ever entertain any level of failure..
    One thing that is most important is that you register yourself with the manufacture of the vest so you can be contacted and be reminded of such things as changing out your CO2 cartridges as they expire.
    she said that only a small percentage of those that purchase the devices do fill out and send in the registration.
    I am not saying that there will never be a failure, but so far they have never had a failure of the approved vests in either the testing or the consumer. The tests of course are done in all water temps etc.
    I bought one for my 80 year old father a few years ago, and he promised to wear it, last june he was heading out in his little 14 foot aluminun boat and suffered a severe stroke .. he was in a comma in just a few minutes, and lucky he did not fall from the boat,, but I am confident that the vest would have worked as it should have..
    those that suggest that these vest are not worthy of their rating, are of course intitled to their opinion and should always do as they feel best for them and there loved ones..
    here is a link to some information on the Mustang
    http://www.mustangsurvival.com/resou...nflatables.wmv
    http://www.mustangsurvival.com/produ...uct.php?id=506

    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Registering inflatable PFDs...

    PFDs on the water - a topic worth discussion for sure.
    Makes sense that learning about a "recall" on your PFD could be as important as a "recall" about your car or whatever.
    Max's post with input from the Coast Guard is good information. Thanks.

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