Types of Personal Flotation Devices

Off-shore | Near-shore | Flotation Aids | Throwable | Special Use




TYPES OF PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES


Off-shore

An off-shore PFD is an approved device

designed to turn an unconscious person in

the water from a face downward position to

a vertical or slightly backward position, and

to have more than 20 pounds of buoyancy.


Near-shore

A near-shore PFD is an approved device

designed to turn an unconscious person in

the water from a face downward position to a

vertical or slightly backward position, and to

have more than 15.5 pounds of buoyancy.


Flotation Aids

Flotation aids are an approved device designed

to have more than 15.5 pounds of buoyancy.

While this PFD has the same buoyancy as the

near-shore PFD, it has less turning ability. It

does, however, allow greater wearing comfort

and is particularly useful when water skiing, sailing, hunting, or engaged in other water sports.


Throwable

A throwable PFD is an approved device

designed to be thrown to a person in the

water. It is not designed to be worn. It is

designed to have at least 16.5 pounds

of buoyancy. The most common throwable PFD is a buoyant cushion. A ring

buoy is also a throwable PFD.

All PFDs must be U.S. Coast Guard

approved, used in accordance with

requirements on label, in good and

serviceable condition, readily accessible, and of appropriate size for the

wearer. Throwable PFDs must be

U.S. Coast Guard approved, in

good and serviceable condition,

and immediately available.


Special use

A Special use PFD must be Coast Guard

approved. It is a restricted device that is acceptable only when the wearer is engaged in the

activity for which the device is intended. Some

restricted PFDs must be worn to be acceptable.

Always check the label of a restricted PFD; the

label will show the activity for which the PFD is

approved and will list all other restrictions.

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